What is an Asymmetric Key?

What is an Asymmetric Key?

Asymmetric encryption uses a pair of keys. Each pair consists of a public and private key. The sender uses the receiver’s public key for encryption, and the receiver uses its private key for decryption.

The public keys can be accessed by anyone for encryption. however, a private key is kept secret and was issued, and is managed by an authorized entity.

Asymmetric keys are used to authenticate users, verify data integrity, and secure symmetric encryption.

For example, the HTTPS padlock symbol on a website URL indicates the website uses SSL/TLS certificates. It means when a user connects to a website, SSL/TLS encrypts communications between a user and a website server.

It uses asymmetric key encryption to verify the identity of the server so that the user can then communicate with the website using the symmetric exchange of keys.

The asymmetric encryption process becomes slow because it utilizes more resources, and the key length is 2048 or higher. As a result, it is used to transfer small amounts of data.

Some examples of asymmetric encryption algorithms include Diffie-Hellman, An Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), El Gamal, Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA), and Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA).

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