Minimal Key Lengths for Symmetric Ciphers to Provide Adequate Commercial Security

by Matt Blaze [Published on 5 April 2000 / Last Updated on 24 Jan. 2013]

Encryption plays an essential role in protecting the privacy of electronic information against threats from a variety of potential attackers. In so doing, modern cryptography employs a combination of _conventional_ or _symmetric_ cryptographic systems for encrypting data and _public key_ or _asymmetric_ systems for managing the _keys_ used by the symmetric systems. Assessing the strength required of the symmetric cryptographic systems is therefore an essential step in employing cryptography for computer and communication security.

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