Q

The difference between AES encryption and DES encryption

Choosing whether to encrypt your network data with the AES encryption algorithm or the DES encryption algorithm, is an important security matter. Learn which is the more secure option in this expert response.

What is the difference between AES and DES encryption?

There is a huge, important difference between these two encryption and decryption algorithms, Data Encryption Standard

(DES) and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES): AES is secure while DES is not.

The federal government developed DES encryption algorithms more than 30 years ago to provide cryptographic security for all government communications. The idea was to ensure government systems all used the same, secure standard to facilitate interconnectivity. DES served as the cornerstone of government cryptography for more than two decades, but in 1999 researchers broke the algorithm's 56-bit key using a distributed computer system.

AES data encryption is a more mathematically efficient and elegant cryptographic algorithm, but its main strength rests in the key length options. The time required to crack an encryption algorithm is directly related to the length of the key used to secure the communication. AES allows you to choose a 128-bit, 192-bit or 256-bit key, making it exponentially stronger than the 56-bit key of DES.

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This was first published in April 2009

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