Questions Technology

How do encryption and decryption work?


Madhu Mannen

Think Big

In an era of the cyber world, we are witnessing advancements daily. One such massive development that revolutionized our way of living is the Internet. In the present scenario, we rely on the Internet for almost all our daily tasks. But with the increase in the positive impact of the internet, the negative sides flourished too. The number of cyber crimes increased tremendously, and as a result, it becomes essential to protect our sensitive information using encryption.

Let us understand the concept of Encryption and Decryption in details.

What is encryption?

Encryption is the process of converting sensitive information/data into codes to prevent any unauthorized extraction of such valuable information.  During encryption, sensitive information is transformed into unintelligible data, with the help of a mathematical function, which is known as a cryptographic function (or a cipher). The actual encryption is however done with the help of a particular number, which is called a key. Key is the factor which helps to encrypt or decrypt the data.

What is Decryption?    

Decryption is the reverse of Encryption. It is the process of converting unintelligence data into intelligence data by decoding the mathematical function, using the concerned key(s).

Now Encryption is of two types:

  • Symmetric  Key Encryption
    In symmetric key encryption, a single type of key is used in the encryption and decryption of the data. Symmetric Key Encryption ensures faster encryption and decryption of data and also provides authenticity, as every key is unique and which means that data encrypted using a particular key can be decrypted by that same key only.
    It is essential during SSL protocols.
    Plaintext + Key (A)= Ciphertext + Key(A)=Plaintext
    (Encryption)                    (Decryption)

  • Unsymmetric/Public Key Encryption
    In symmetric key encryption, a combination of a public key and a private key is used in the encryption and decryption of the data. It is used during RSA Data Security.
    Plaintext + Public Key= Ciphertext + Private Key= Plaintext
    (Encryption)                           (Decryption)

Under this encryption scheme, the user encrypts data using the concerned person’s public key and then sends that encrypted data to that individual. The concerned person decrypts the data using their private key and extracts sensitive information.


Encryption and Decryption are essential while exchanging highly sensitive information from one end to another and to prevent unauthorized extraction of such data.

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