Key length definition
Cryptographic keys work just like regular ones, but they encrypt digital access instead of locking the door. Key length in cybersecurity defines the length of cryptographic keys used in various algorithms, and the length itself is measured in bits. Simply speaking, key length is one of the factors that adds more security to the encryption protocol. Choosing the length of a cryptographic key depends on specific security requirements and encryption algorithms.
See also: cryptographic algorithm
Common key length examples in cybersecurity:
- AES encryption: Advanced encryption standards can use variable encryption key lengths, like 128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit. Obviously, using a 256-bit AES key adds more security to sensitive data than a 128-bit key.
- RSA encryption: In asymmetric encryption, like RSA, key length directly correlates with the security of private and public key pairs. For example, 2048-bit RSA keys will be more robust in digital signatures than 1024-bit keys.
- Wireless networks: In Wi-Fi networks, key lengths are utilized in WPA2 and WP3 protocols to keep communications secure. Keys with longer lengths, like 256 bits, can enhance connections and protect against unauthorized access.