Symmetric algorithms for encryption – Know the pros and cons of using such encryption

Symmetric algorithms for encryption

In today’s world of digitization, cyber breaches have resulted in havoc which has been mainly due to unauthorized access to confidential data, as a result, financial and payment system data are at most risk of getting exposed. This is the key reason why Symmetric algorithms are used for encryption, keeping aside the Merits of Symmetric Algorithm and the Challenges of Symmetric Algorithm they are widely used for the well being and protection of user personal data. Without further delay let us dive deeper into the Symmetric algorithm.

What is Symmetric Encryption?

It’s a type of encryption where there is only one kind of secret key that is exchanged by the entities, which is used both in encryption and decryption. In contrast, two asymmetric encryption where there is a private key and a public key this pair of keys are used mainly for encryption and decryption of information. Symmetric encryption works in a unique way where the message sent by the sender can only be decrypted and understood by the receiver who has the secret key to decrypt it. This works in a method where the algorithm reverses its actions whenever it receives the proper decryption key.

There are two types of symmetric encryption algorithms:

  1. Block algorithms. Set lengths of bits are encrypted in blocks of electronic data with the use of a specific secret key. As the data is being encrypted, the system holds the data in its memory as it waits for complete blocks.
  2. Stream algorithms. Data is encrypted as it streams instead of being retained in the system’s memory.

Merits of Symmetric algorithm

Considering the real-life examples we can come across several merits of symmetric algorithm some of them are given below:

• A symmetric cryptosystem is faster.
• In Symmetric Cryptosystems, encrypted data can be transferred on the link even if there is a possibility that the data will be intercepted. Since there is no key transmitted with the data, the chances of data being decrypted are null.
• A symmetric cryptosystem uses password authentication to prove the receiver’s identity.
• A system only that possesses the secret key can decrypt a message.

Challenges of Symmetric algorithm

Keeping apart the merits of symmetric algorithm, there are certain challenges of symmetric algorithm too.

  • Symmetric cryptosystems have a problem of key transportation. The secret key is to be transmitted to the receiving system before the actual message is to be transmitted. Every means of electronic communication is insecure as it is
    impossible to guarantee that no one will be able to tap communication channels. So the only secure way of exchanging keys would be exchanging them personally.
  • Cannot provide digital signatures that cannot be repudiated


Keeping up huge scope symmetric encryption frameworks is a difficult assignment. This is particularly evident when we need to accomplish banking-grade security and auditability when the corporate or potentially IT design is decentralized/geologically conveyed.

To do this appropriately, it is prescribed to utilize unique programming to keep up the legitimate life-cycle for each key made. In examples of gigantic key enlistment, it is genuinely difficult to direct key administration physically. We need specialized key life-cycle the board software for it.

Quantum processing is relied upon to appear inside the following 5-10 years. As of now today, NIST prompts supplanting the generally utilized 3DES calculation with calculations that we consider to be more protected, in light of the present information.

Not understanding what progress in innovation and henceforth in the advancement malevolent unscrambling calculations might be, we unequivocally encourage banks to move to a crypto-deft arrangement. Such an arrangement will permit to quickly substitution calculations, when shortcomings are recognized, with calculations that are viewed as safer. Speculation and engineering choices should be taken now, to keep away from significant harm in the approaching years.