Symmetric vs Asymmetric Encryption Algorithms Cont

Comparing key lengths required for asymmetric keys and symmetric keys

Symmetric Key Length

Asymmetric Key Length

80

1024

112

2048

128

3072

192

7680

256

15360

One way to compare the strength of two encryption methods is to examine the length of the keys that each method uses. The information in the table in the figure compares symmetric key length with the equivalent asymmetric key length. A symmetric algorithm using a 256-bit key is comparable to an asymmetric algorithm using a 15,360-bit key.

© 2006 Cisco Systems, Inc. Building IPsec VPNs 6-17

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