# How Secure Is 256-bit Encryption?

### Is 256-bit encryption still secure?

Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.

Join For FreeSSL security is all about encryption of data over two nodes. The safe transfer over an internet connection is attained due to encryption performed by the SSL system.

## Why Is it Necessary?

Now, I can list n-numbers of examples that could prove its necessity for our daily transmission or transactions process.

- If you don’t want to become a phishing victim then you need to encrypt your data.
- It ensures the authenticity of the user.
- It saves your sensitive information from fraudulent.

You may also like: Encryption, Part 1: Symmetric Encryption.

**What Exactly Is Encryption?**

Now, consider a box full of letters forming different sentences. If I scramble those letters, then it becomes unreadable. Encryption follows the same protocol.

The plaintext or readable text is usually scrambled into an unreadable text or characters, which are also known as ciphertext. Ciphertext can only be cracked using a cipher key. And that cipher can either be a private or public key.

A private key only allows a destined recipient to crack the code into a readable form. On the other hand, a public key is meant for the use of everyone. It is no big secret to anyone.

**Use of Algorithms**

It is more of a logical procedure than it seems. It uses mathematical algorithms that convert plaintext into a scrambled mess of letters and symbols that can only be decrypted with a key.

For example, if you are a biologist, you would better understand it if you try to correlate it with lock and key hypothesis of entomology. Now, you can obviously make use of several different algorithms like:

- Two fish.
- Blowfish.
- AES or DES.

and many more…..

**Types of Encryption**

Encryption can be performed — **symmetrically **or **asymmetrically. **Let’s try and understand both of these terms.

**Symmetric Encryption.**

This type of encryption is considered a little less secure over than assymetric encryption method. Both the server and host are utilizing the same key to decrypt a message. Use of a common key increases the chance that the message is at risk of being decrypted.

**Asymmetric Encryption**

This is the encryption technique that is utilized by TLS/SSL systems. It is considered the safest form of encryption. It generally utilizes or makes use of two different keys, a public and private key.

So, cracking this ciphertext can be a strenuous task and could take several light years to do.

**256-Bit Encryption**

By now, you all must have understood the functioning and importance of encryption. Now, let’s move on to 256-bit encryption system.

This is the safest method of encryption used to date. It utilizes a 256-bit key to encrypt and decrypt data.

The numeric term here describes the length of the key here utilized for the encryption.

Now, 256-bit length means than you can make combinations of two raised to the power of 256. Now, this number is humanly impossible to calculate. Approximately, a billion combinations are possible with this type of key. Practically, it is impossible to crack. And even if we are using a supercomputer, then it also would require several light years to try and test every combination.

Even when you are using brute forces then consider this situation reasonably. As it is would require at least 3*10^51 years to exhaust all the combinations possible by the 256-bit encryption technique.

So, how secure is your data when utilizing 256-bit encryption.

I guess the answer is quite obvious by now. 256-bit encryption is one of the secure encryption systems out there. Now, this system is often utilized by U.S government organizations and banks to perform the transaction. So, these examples should be enough to indicate that this encryption method is reliable and secure.

## Further Reading

Published at DZone with permission of Crumb Peter. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

Comments