Technical Communication

Introduction

The communication between working establishments always requires secrecy in order to keep the information confident among them. The ABC Institute of Research collaborated with XYZ Inc in the field of genetic research. The transfer of various research data between the researchers necessitates an efficient encrypting of the data.

The encryption of the transmitting information uses a key based on which the information is coded. The proficiency of the encryption depends on the suitable selection of the key.

The paper deals with the types of ciphers used widely in encryption so that an appropriate one can be selected for ABC Institute of Research to communicate with XYZ Inc. The advantages and disadvantages are analyzed to conclude for the more suitable type of key to be introduced.

Cryptography

The wireless communication creates a question on the security of the transmitted data. “Cryptography is the science of keeping data secure.” (What is cryptography, 2009). The cryptography involves two techniques: encryption and decryption.

The transmission of a confidential data across a communication channel can be tapped by the rivals. To avoid the insecurity posed, a method is adopted for converting the original message into a different form based on a specific procedure and using a key for encrypting and decrypting. “Encryption is the conversion of data into a form, called a ciphertext that cannot be easily understood by unauthorized people. Decryption is the process of converting encrypted data back into its original form.” (Encryption, 2009, Definition, para.1).

Encryption and decryption are done using a word or words called a key. As the name literally indicates, it is used to lock up and open out the data in order to keep it away from the rivals while transmission. The authorized person knows the key so that the original data is recovered for processing.

The key used for the encryption and decryption may be one among the two types available. They are:

  • Symmetric key
  • Asymmetric key

Symmetric key

In symmetric key system, a single key is used at the sending as well as the receiving end of the transmission. This can be defined as “An encryption system in which the sender and receiver of a message share a single, common key that is used to encrypt and decrypt.” (Symmetric- key cryptography, 2009, para.1).

This is also known as private keying encryption decryption system as the secret and private key is used for both encrypting and decrypting process. This also resulted in another name called secret key system.

Advantages

The system is very simple in set up and operation. The encrypting as well as the decrypting operations are carried out easily. Since the same keys are used with simple operations, the system becomes quicker in access and processing.

Disadvantages

Sharing of private data is the major drawback of this system. The transfer of private key between the communicators can result in insecurity of the communication.

Asymmetric key

In asymmetric key cryptographic system, an asymmetric situation is observed while using the key for encryption and decryption. The key used for encryption at both communicating ends are the same. Each end uses a separate secret key while decrypting the received data. This system can be defined as “Secure data transmission coding schemes which use two different digital keys: one for encryption of data, the other for its decryption.” (Asymmetric- key cryptography, 2009, Definition, para.1). The asymmetric key system is also known as a public key system because of the sharing of the public key alone.

Advantages

The main advantage offered by the asymmetric system is keeping privacy in the key used. Only the public key is shared while the private one is kept as secret. So, the redundancy caused due to sharing is eliminated. The circulation of the public key requires least protection.

Disadvantages

A very complicated implication is seen in this method of cryptography. The keys used for encryption and decryption are different resulting in a complex set of operations at both the ends. This makes the system to work at a lower pace as compared to the symmetric one.

The analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of both the systems leads to a conclusion that asymmetric mode is more applicable in the real time systems. The most acceptable method is including both the systems in the practical implementation so that the resulting execution yields a speedy, secure, less complicated system. The mostly used method in practice is encrypting the key in an asymmetric manner, using which the data to be transmitted is encrypted in a symmetric manner; thus introducing the advantages of symmetric key along with the benefit of secrecy of asymmetric approach.

Conclusion

A study on the symmetric and asymmetric key encryption was carried out. The advantages and disadvantages were examined. The asymmetric or public key system turned out to be more practical method. In order to eliminate the disadvantage of lower speed, a symmetric approach has to be taken along with the asymmetric technique. The key is to be encrypted in an asymmetric manner and this encrypted key is to be used in a symmetric style to encrypt the data. Thus, ABC Institute of Research can communicate with XYZ Inc. in a more secure manner.

Reference List

Asymmetric- key cryptography: Definition. (2009). Business Dictionary.com. Web.

Encryption: Definition. (2009). Search Security.com.

Symmetric- key cryptography. (2009). Internet.com.

What is cryptography: Cryptography. (2009). Tech FAQ. Web.