# Encryption Algorithm

## What is Encryption Algorithm?

A mathematical procedure for encrypting data. Encryption algorithms form the basis by which encryption can take place and are fundamental to cryptography.

## How it works

A mathematical procedure for encrypting data. Encryption algorithms form the basis by which encryption can take place and are fundamental to cryptography.

Encryption algorithms generally use some kind of mathematical key (chosen from a large set of available keys) to transform plaintext (the data being encrypted) into ciphertext (the resulting encrypted data). An encryption algorithm must be reversible so that the recipient can use another mathematical key to decrypt the data in order to read it.

A good encryption algorithm is difficult to decrypt if you don’t know the decrypting key. It might take massively parallel computers centuries (or aeons) of intense computing, trying all possible keys, to decrypt a typical message without knowing the specific decryption key.

Encryption algorithms typically perform their encryption process on multibyte segments of data instead of on one byte at a time. Such an algorithm is referred to as a block cipher. For example, the Data Encryption Standard (DES) algorithm, a 56-bit key algorithm used for many years by the U.S. government, encrypts data 8 bytes at a time.