Your Guide to the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
An ever-increasing portion of the world’s data is being stored digitally—from proprietary secrets of major corporations to private text messages between friends. With so much information on data storage devices vulnerable to privacy breaches, it’s necessary to choose an encryption standard that is sufficiently robust to protect all kinds of data. The solution is the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).
Background of the AES
In 1997, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the commencement of an initiative to develop a new encryption standard, the advanced encryption standard. NIST worked with industry leaders and the cryptographic community to develop this symmetric block cipher. The need for a new encryption standard had become clear when its predecessor, the Data Encryption Standard (DES), had proven itself vulnerable to brute force attacks. The goal for AES was to develop an algorithm capable of protecting classified government information and, on a voluntary basis, the private sector. On November 26, 2001, NIST published AES as the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS). In 2002, it officially became the federal government standard in the U.S.
Overview of AES Ciphers
The design principle of AES is known as a substitution permutation network, which refers to a series of mathematical operations that are linked. It works by applying multiple rounds or layers of substitution boxes and permutation boxes to plaintext, which produces the ciphertext block. AES features a 128-bit block size. It has three allowable key sizes: 128, 192, and 256. Each cipher is capable of encrypting and decrypting information in block sizes of 128 bits.
Benefits of the AES
Over the years, AES has proven itself to be a reliable and effective method of safeguarding sensitive information. Some of the key benefits of using AES include the following:
- This robust security algorithm may be implemented in both hardware and software.
- It is resilient against hacking attempts, thanks to its higher-length key sizes (128, 192, and 256 bits).
- It is an open source solution. Since AES is royalty-free, it remains highly accessible for both the private and public sectors.
- AES is the most commonly used security protocol today, used for everything from encrypted data storage to wireless communications.
However, as powerful as AES is when used on solid state drives (SSDs), it is not entirely foolproof. The user must still exercise reasonable precautions to safeguard data after entering the authorization key (AK).
Engineers and OEMs in need of data storage devices equipped with AES can turn to Delkin for an effective solution. We offer a number of encryption-capable options, including the E300 USB, D300 SD, U300 microSD, and A370 mSATA. Contact Delkin today to discuss your application’s requirements.
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