Cyber security

Public Key Cryptography: What is it and How does it work

Kl Public key cryptography

The techniques provided by Rivest-Shamir-Adelman (RSA) Data Security are utilized in the most widely used implementations of public-key cryptography. Cryptography is essential for software engineers when it comes to signing messages, signature verification, certificate use, and payload encryption.

Cryptography is, in fact, a necessary component of modern apps and enterprise solutions. Due to the vast numbers of sensitive customer data and confidential corporate information that are vulnerable to numerous vulnerabilities, it is essential to consider various cryptographic techniques.

Instead of using a single shared key, public-key cryptography (also known as public-key encryption or asymmetric encryption) uses two independent keys: a public key and a private key. So, what is asymmetric or public-key cryptography?

What exactly is public-key encryption?

As previously stated, symmetric cryptography implies the creation of both public and private keys. The sender’s communication is encrypted using the public key, while the receiver’s message is decrypted using the private key. Since public-key cryptography is a relatively new idea, there are no comprehensive historical records of its application. Symmetric cryptography is commonly used for confidential communication in large financial institutions, the military, and government agencies.

Furthermore, in recent years, the gradual increase in the number of insecure computer networks has forced the implementation of cryptography on a larger scale. Due to key management issues, symmetric cryptography proved unsuitable for large-scale implementation. As a result, the public key cryptography example has become the most popular solution to symmetric encryption’s flaws.

What is the purpose of a cryptographic key?

A cryptographic key is a piece of information used to scramble data so that it appears random; it’s usually a huge integer or a string of numbers and letters. When plaintext (unencrypted data) is fed into an encryption algorithm with the key, the plaintext emerges as random-looking data. Anyone with the appropriate decryption key, on the other hand, can convert the data back to plaintext.

Public key encryption: How does it work?

For the uninitiated, public-key cryptography can appear complicated. So, what does public-key encryption truly look like in practice? The public key cryptography demonstration below will show you how it works.

  • The sender of the message Jane needs to deliver a critical business document to Mary, a coworker at the same firm. The business document is extremely private and should only be seen by Marc.
  • As a result, Jane encrypts the business document with her public key before transmitting it to Marc.
  • The business document has now devolved into encrypted data, rendering it unrecognizable to any other firm employee.
  • Marc may receive the message and decrypt the message delivered by Jane using his private key.
  • With the use of his private key, Marc was able to access the original data sent by Jane.

As a result, anyone can safely transfer data to the owner of the private key. Furthermore, anyone may verify that data received from the owner of the private key comes from that source and not from an imposter.

Cryptography: Symmetric vs. Asymmetric

Speed and security choices are the main variances between symmetric and asymmetric encryption. Symmetric encryption is generally faster and easier to use, although it is often seen as less safe than asymmetric encryption. However, as we’ve seen, encryption comes down to two factors: key size and the security of the media used to store encryption keys.

Because of the shorter key lengths, symmetric encryption is considerably faster to utilize. Because of its longer key lengths and sophisticated algorithms, asymmetric encryption has a propensity to slow down networks. When determining the sort of encryption to use, these are the tradeoffs to think about.

Public Key Encryption Addresses a Range of Issues

Observations on public-key cryptography also concentrate on the problems that it solves. It’s crucial to remember why you’re using public-key encryption. Web traffic transmits information through a network’s numerous intermediate computers. As a result, third-party agents could capture consistently flowing internet communications and use harmful methods to get critical information. The challenges addressed by public-key encryption give a strong sense of its advantages.

Here’s a rundown of some of the most prevalent risks that public key encryption can put you at risk.


Spying on people issues in information security can also be addressed with public-key cryptography. The privacy of the information, even when it is spied upon, is compromised. Interception of secret information or the collection of credit card numbers are examples of spying.


In today’s world, manipulation is one of the most serious threats to information security. It includes altering or modifying data in transit before it reaches the intended receiver. Malicious agents could, for example, alter the information on a person’s CV or alter a purchase.

Thievery of identity 

Thievery of identity is a serious problem in today’s information security environment. It is a severe threat to digital security because bad attackers impersonate other people. Spoofing is the earliest sort of identity theft, in which an individual pretends to be somebody else.

By exploiting four critical aspects, the public key in blockchain can assist provide the needed protection against such assaults. Among the factors are:

Measures to detect tampering

Public key encryption allows a recipient to check that his or her message hasn’t been tampered with. Attempts to modify or substitute information while in transit can be detected more easily with public-key encryption.

Verification of authenticity

Authentication is required for the recipient of a message to determine the message’s origin by verifying the sender’s identity.

 Defining Encryption and decryption

The terms encryption and decryption appear prominently in a public key cryptography example. They help two parties hide information they exchange. Encryption is done by the sender before sending the message, and decryption is done by the receiver after receiving the message. An unauthorized person can’t read the information while it is being sent.

Assurance of non-repudiation

Public key encryption ensures non-repudiation, which means the sender cannot claim later that the message was not sent at all. 

Algorithms for Public Key Cryptography

The encryption and decryption techniques for public-key encryption are heavily reliant on algorithms. There are three major types of public-key cryptography algorithms available right now. Although, among all the techniques used for public-key encryption, the RSA algorithm receives the most attention.

As a public key cryptography algorithm, RSA has found widespread use in browsers that must establish secure internet connections. Furthermore, RSA digital signature verification is one of the most prevalent activities done in networked systems. It can provide extremely high degrees of security. Factoring huge integers produced as products of two large prime numbers is challenging with the RSA technique.

To sum up

To sum up, public-key cryptography is an incredibly versatile and widespread tool for information security. The benefits of public-key encryption are readily apparent when it comes to dealing with well-known world wide web threats. Furthermore, public-key encryption ensures that you have complete control over the security of your data.

Thankfully, we all could be benefited from public-key cryptography without having to comprehend the complex math that underpins it. In reality, we almost certainly employ public-key cryptography daily as we interact with computers and the Internet.

What can Kloudlearn do for you?

Since all employees have a responsibility to safeguard their network and data, cybersecurity is a shared obligation. The very first step in creating an effective procedure is good training. Kloudlearn’s free Cybersecurity curriculum includes everything you need to secure your network, including data and information security, risk evaluation, mitigation, and much more.

You can get your self-paced cybersecurity training here.





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