Definition - What does 256-Bit Encryption mean?
256-bit encryption is a data/file encryption technique that uses a 256-bit key to encrypt and decrypt data or files. It is one of the most secure encryption methods after 128- and 192-bit encryption, and is used in most modern encryption algorithms, protocols and technologies including AES and SSL.
Techopedia explains 256-Bit Encryption
256-bit encryption is refers to the length of the encryption key used to encrypt a data stream or file. A hacker or cracker will require 2256 different combinations to break a 256-bit encrypted message, which is virtually impossible to be broken by even the fastest computers. Typically, 256-bit encryption is used for data in transit, or data traveling over a network or Internet connection. However, it is also implemented for sensitive and important data such as financial, military or government-owned data. The U.S. government requires that all sensitive and important data be encrypted using 192- or 256-bit encryption methods.
Techopedia Explains Encryption Algorithm
Encryption algorithms assist in the process of transforming plain text into encrypted text, and then back to plain text for the purpose of securing electronic data when it is transported over networks. By coding or encrypting data, hackers or other unauthorized users are generally unable to access such information. Some encryption algorithms are considered faster than others, but as long as algorithm developers, many of whom have math backgrounds, stay on top of advancements in this technology, this type of encryption should continue to flourish as hackers continue to become more sophisticated. In 1977, RSA became one of the first encryption algorithms developed by U.S. mathematicians Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Len Adleman. RSA has had ample staying power as it is still widely used for digital signatures and public key encryption. Encryption algorithms can vary in length, but the strength of an algorithm is usually directly proportional to its length.