Tech Talks

What is Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Encryption?

Published On November 28th, 2022 Tech Talks

Whenever there is a high risk of exposure to sensitive information, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is one of those acronyms that gets popped up. That’s because this encryption standard is flawless, fast, and secure which helps keep hackers from prying on our digital data.  

So, why is AES accepted globally? How did this algorithm invade other standards that proved to be nuances? Which is the right algorithm for your business?

All these and a lot more will be discussed in the article below. We will also see the AES types, their applications in the digital world, and their importance.

So, let us start with:

What is Encryption?

In technical terms, it is the means to convert human-readable plain text to cipher text using encryption algorithms

These algorithms encode data in two ways – Asymmetric and Symmetric categories using cryptographic keys or encryption keys. Even these keys are encrypted so that it is highly unlikely to break the message even if the hackers gain access to the platform. 

What are Symmetric & Asymmetric Encryption? 

Symmetric

Well, symmetric encryption uses a single encryption and decryption key, whereas, asymmetric makes use of two separate keys for ciphering and deciphering.

Asymmetric

While symmetric is faster, it is less secure when compared to asymmetric standards. But, regardless of this, a type of symmetric encryption that has been adored by businesses worldwide is AES.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Encryption

AES encryption, acronymed as Advanced Encryption Standard, is a symmetric type of encryption that makes use of the same key for both encryption and decryption data.

This algorithm is also known by many as a ‘block cipher‘ as it divides the data into chunks of sections called blocks. 

To put light on the above said, 

  • AES encryption key divides data into 4*4 arrays containing 16 bytes each. 
  • Each of these bytes contains a maximum of 8 bits. But this division does not change the size of the cipher text. Both the original and cipher text yields a size of 128 bits.
 
Make Industry-Specific Connections with our Secure APIs & SDKs

Additionally, AES uses a substitution permutation network applying multiple rounds to encrypt data. And, because of this compounding nature, AES encryption is said to be highly impenetrable. 

Now here’s the prime part:

AES Encryption Types

The three AES types are 256, 192, and 128-bit keys respectively. 

  • All these bits use the same bit blocks that are 128 but differ in their key lengths and rounds of encryption.
  • And since AES 256 has the highest length of keys, it is substantially safer to use than the rest. 
  • Also, AES 256 uses 14 rounds of encryption compared to AES-128 which makes use of 10 rounds, and AES- 192 which uses 12 rounds. Thereby making it the safest encryption ever.

Here’s a concrete AES 256 encryption example of what a ciphertext looks like:

Plaintext Message: The acting president was diagnosed with a terminal illness. 

CiphertextMesage: bWhVOg5IxuiUw1TKrEjFD4CCw9r30KcSp8LU49JXX89i5+K/Z55QeNgPnEoDtK90bbUjpbQZ/yaQGOdXlbZS9/Ntd/mfxnK6GAhyKmtHUUk=

(Source Credit: The AES encryption example that illustrates the ciphering of plaintext holds its originality from Trenton systems blog)

Fact: Did you know that people say that upon using AES 256 encryption (AES-256), there is a stipulated increase in the safety and speed of the information? 

What are the Features of the AES Encryption Algorithm?

Below are quick details on the features that AES 256 algorithm renders, and the reason that makes it a globally standardized encryption algorithm.

  • Encryption Rounds: As AES 256 uses 14 rounds to encrypt data, it is comparatively safe from hackers.
  • Use of Bytes: The AES encryption software carries out its security operations on bytes and not bits, which means that it treats the 256-bit block size as 32 bytes.
  • Network Structure: AES runs on SP network structure rather than the Feistel cipher, much similar to the DES algorithm.

Expansion of Keys: AES uses multiple rounds of encryption. In its first round, it uses a single key, which is expanded to multiple numbers in further rounds.

How Does AES Encryption Work?

AES itself is a vast topic that is quite difficult to understand even for the experts in this field. But, we have briefed this topic in the simplest form possible.

1. Block Division: We learned that AES is a block cipher that divides data into blocks of bits before encryption. This is the algorithm’s first step.

2. Key Expansion: In this step, AES creates new keys, preferably round keys for each round of encryption. It is done using Rijndaels’ key algorithm.

3. Addition Of Round Keys: Here, the initial round keys that were formed are added to subsequent data that has been divided.

4. Byte Substitution: Based on Rijndael’s S-box substitution method, every byte block is substituted with different bytes.

5. Row Shifting: The AES algorithm moves rows of divided data one space left to the second row, two spaces left to the third, and so on.

6. Mixing Of Columns: A new block of code is established by mixing or multiplying the columns of the divided data.

7. Addition Of Round Keys: Finally, round keys are added to the mixed columns.

Post this round, the process continues again 11 to 13 times depending on the key size of the AES encryption algorithm used. 

What are the Applications of the AES Algorithm?

application of aes algorithm

AES encryption has now been widely used for diversified sectors. And, many businesses are now combining this algorithm with NIST – issued cryptographic algorithms to boost and enhance the encryption of business data. 

Here’s a list of applications where AES stands tall: 

1. Healthcare Patients’ data and all types of communication need to be secured and confidentiality must be maintained. For this, AES 256 – bit encryption along with a few other standards is approached.

2. Real-time chats or instant messagingBusinesses these days use session and public key types of the AES 256 algorithm to maintain the security of real-time chats. This algorithm has indeed kept personal conversations locked from all third-party intrusions.

3. Digital wallet platforms – Name any type of payment platform, they are sure to have used AES for their encryption. However, what is the bit size to use depends on the transaction data. Some make use of 192-bit keys, whereas others use 256-bit for encryption.

4. Browsing Data: Your web browsers too may use AES to encrypt connections with any websites. It plays a huge role in providing authentication to the client and server-side computing. 

We understand that it is a lot more to take in. But bet, without an insight on the below topic, your learning would be incomplete.

Why is It Important to Use AES 256 Encryption?

We are well aware of the happenings around us, and with everything going digital, we gave way for hackers to read our digital data.

Therefore, keeping the privacy of data intact has become a vital role for businesses in the global field. 

  • And the best way they can achieve this is by opting for security solutions like AES 256 or other mechanisms. This ought to be on their bucket list always and at any time.
  • Because only then will users have trust in us, strengthen their relationships with us, reduce liability for data, and finally could help us be devoid of hefty fines for data breach.

Hearing all these could be daunting, but can be very distraught for businesses who are into pre-made chat solutions like chat APIs and SDKs.

A small wormhole in the chat infrastructure can make pavements for cyber criminals to easily access users’ data. So, make sure to analyze the API providers then make a choice.

Choosing the best has to be done wisely.

MirrorFly’s AES 256 Encryption Doesn’t Mirror Inside Looks!

Well, we hope that we did a fair job in making you understand the true importance of AES encryption. 

Now that you have an idea of the speed, versatility, and immunity that AES offers from cyber attacks, would you like to build your chat apps with AES encryption?

In such cases, look no further than MirrorFly, as their brainy in-house developers have taken care of the security and compliance part very well. With their integral and robust chat libraries and extensions, developers can easily create real-time chat platforms that are secure and safe from any attacks.

Along with these, their chat SDKs are encrypted with best security standards and offer deployment on the cloud for that extra mile of security. 

 
Interested to Make your Real-Time Communication Solution More Secure?

Krishi Shivasangaran

Krishi Shivasangaran is a digital nomad and a veteran of Digital Marketing strategies. She is passionate about learning the newest trends in video APIs. And, when she's off-role, she loves to sketch and make people realize the true color of nature.

Whenever there is a high risk of exposure to sensitive information, Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is one of those acronyms that gets popped up. That’s because this encryption standard is flawless, fast, and secure which helps keep hackers from prying on our digital data.  

So, why is AES accepted globally? How did this algorithm invade other standards that proved to be nuances? Which is the right algorithm for your business?

All these and a lot more will be discussed in the article below. We will also see the AES types, their applications in the digital world, and their importance.

So, let us start with:

What is Encryption?

In technical terms, it is the means to convert human-readable plain text to cipher text using encryption algorithms

These algorithms encode data in two ways – Asymmetric and Symmetric categories using cryptographic keys or encryption keys. Even these keys are encrypted so that it is highly unlikely to break the message even if the hackers gain access to the platform. 

What are Symmetric & Asymmetric Encryption? 

Symmetric

Well, symmetric encryption uses a single encryption and decryption key, whereas, asymmetric makes use of two separate keys for ciphering and deciphering.

Asymmetric

While symmetric is faster, it is less secure when compared to asymmetric standards. But, regardless of this, a type of symmetric encryption that has been adored by businesses worldwide is AES.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Encryption

AES encryption, acronymed as Advanced Encryption Standard, is a symmetric type of encryption that makes use of the same key for both encryption and decryption data.

This algorithm is also known by many as a ‘block cipher‘ as it divides the data into chunks of sections called blocks. 

To put light on the above said, 

  • AES encryption key divides data into 4*4 arrays containing 16 bytes each. 
  • Each of these bytes contains a maximum of 8 bits. But this division does not change the size of the cipher text. Both the original and cipher text yields a size of 128 bits.
 
Make Industry-Specific Connections with our Secure APIs & SDKs

Additionally, AES uses a substitution permutation network applying multiple rounds to encrypt data. And, because of this compounding nature, AES encryption is said to be highly impenetrable. 

Now here’s the prime part:

AES Encryption Types

The three AES types are 256, 192, and 128-bit keys respectively. 

  • All these bits use the same bit blocks that are 128 but differ in their key lengths and rounds of encryption.
  • And since AES 256 has the highest length of keys, it is substantially safer to use than the rest. 
  • Also, AES 256 uses 14 rounds of encryption compared to AES-128 which makes use of 10 rounds, and AES- 192 which uses 12 rounds. Thereby making it the safest encryption ever.

Here’s a concrete AES 256 encryption example of what a ciphertext looks like:

Plaintext Message: The acting president was diagnosed with a terminal illness. 

CiphertextMesage: bWhVOg5IxuiUw1TKrEjFD4CCw9r30KcSp8LU49JXX89i5+K/Z55QeNgPnEoDtK90bbUjpbQZ/yaQGOdXlbZS9/Ntd/mfxnK6GAhyKmtHUUk=

(Source Credit: The AES encryption example that illustrates the ciphering of plaintext holds its originality from Trenton systems blog)

Fact: Did you know that people say that upon using AES 256 encryption (AES-256), there is a stipulated increase in the safety and speed of the information? 

What are the Features of the AES Encryption Algorithm?

Below are quick details on the features that AES 256 algorithm renders, and the reason that makes it a globally standardized encryption algorithm.

  • Encryption Rounds: As AES 256 uses 14 rounds to encrypt data, it is comparatively safe from hackers.
  • Use of Bytes: The AES encryption software carries out its security operations on bytes and not bits, which means that it treats the 256-bit block size as 32 bytes.
  • Network Structure: AES runs on SP network structure rather than the Feistel cipher, much similar to the DES algorithm.

Expansion of Keys: AES uses multiple rounds of encryption. In its first round, it uses a single key, which is expanded to multiple numbers in further rounds.

How Does AES Encryption Work?

AES itself is a vast topic that is quite difficult to understand even for the experts in this field. But, we have briefed this topic in the simplest form possible.

1. Block Division: We learned that AES is a block cipher that divides data into blocks of bits before encryption. This is the algorithm’s first step.

2. Key Expansion: In this step, AES creates new keys, preferably round keys for each round of encryption. It is done using Rijndaels’ key algorithm.

3. Addition Of Round Keys: Here, the initial round keys that were formed are added to subsequent data that has been divided.

4. Byte Substitution: Based on Rijndael’s S-box substitution method, every byte block is substituted with different bytes.

5. Row Shifting: The AES algorithm moves rows of divided data one space left to the second row, two spaces left to the third, and so on.

6. Mixing Of Columns: A new block of code is established by mixing or multiplying the columns of the divided data.

7. Addition Of Round Keys: Finally, round keys are added to the mixed columns.

Post this round, the process continues again 11 to 13 times depending on the key size of the AES encryption algorithm used. 

What are the Applications of the AES Algorithm?

application of aes algorithm

AES encryption has now been widely used for diversified sectors. And, many businesses are now combining this algorithm with NIST – issued cryptographic algorithms to boost and enhance the encryption of business data. 

Here’s a list of applications where AES stands tall: 

1. Healthcare Patients’ data and all types of communication need to be secured and confidentiality must be maintained. For this, AES 256 – bit encryption along with a few other standards is approached.

2. Real-time chats or instant messagingBusinesses these days use session and public key types of the AES 256 algorithm to maintain the security of real-time chats. This algorithm has indeed kept personal conversations locked from all third-party intrusions.

3. Digital wallet platforms – Name any type of payment platform, they are sure to have used AES for their encryption. However, what is the bit size to use depends on the transaction data. Some make use of 192-bit keys, whereas others use 256-bit for encryption.

4. Browsing Data: Your web browsers too may use AES to encrypt connections with any websites. It plays a huge role in providing authentication to the client and server-side computing. 

We understand that it is a lot more to take in. But bet, without an insight on the below topic, your learning would be incomplete.

Why is It Important to Use AES 256 Encryption?

We are well aware of the happenings around us, and with everything going digital, we gave way for hackers to read our digital data.

Therefore, keeping the privacy of data intact has become a vital role for businesses in the global field. 

  • And the best way they can achieve this is by opting for security solutions like AES 256 or other mechanisms. This ought to be on their bucket list always and at any time.
  • Because only then will users have trust in us, strengthen their relationships with us, reduce liability for data, and finally could help us be devoid of hefty fines for data breach.

Hearing all these could be daunting, but can be very distraught for businesses who are into pre-made chat solutions like chat APIs and SDKs.

A small wormhole in the chat infrastructure can make pavements for cyber criminals to easily access users’ data. So, make sure to analyze the API providers then make a choice.

Choosing the best has to be done wisely.

MirrorFly’s AES 256 Encryption Doesn’t Mirror Inside Looks!

Well, we hope that we did a fair job in making you understand the true importance of AES encryption. 

Now that you have an idea of the speed, versatility, and immunity that AES offers from cyber attacks, would you like to build your chat apps with AES encryption?

In such cases, look no further than MirrorFly, as their brainy in-house developers have taken care of the security and compliance part very well. With their integral and robust chat libraries and extensions, developers can easily create real-time chat platforms that are secure and safe from any attacks.

Along with these, their chat SDKs are encrypted with best security standards and offer deployment on the cloud for that extra mile of security. 

 
Interested to Make your Real-Time Communication Solution More Secure?

Krishi Shivasangaran

Krishi Shivasangaran is a digital nomad and a veteran of Digital Marketing strategies. She is passionate about learning the newest trends in video APIs. And, when she's off-role, she loves to sketch and make people realize the true color of nature.

10 Comments "What is Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Encryption?"

  1. Powlin says:

    Wow what an Epic Blog post thank you so much and I am on the way to looking AES Encryption types. definetly this post will help me to get success

  2. Vinay says:

    This is really a great article. I just started looking for Encryption and AES-256 details. this article realy helped me lot and time saver!!!

  3. Yugi says:

    Never saw someone wrote this deep Guide on AES encryption . So deep it is, don’t have to look anywhere else. thanks keep writing

  4. Rimna says:

    I think very very detailed article for those who try to know the AES encryption technology. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Sachin says:

    Thanks for sharing. It is a very helpful content to know the full concept of AES Encryption as well as their apllications.Your blog is so amazing.

  6. Shameer says:

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  7. Rena says:

    Amazing publish, very informative abou AES Encryption. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  8. Smith says:

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  9. Nikilesh says:

    Excellent blog mate. Very detailed info and broader options are covered about AES Encryption. Great job. Keep writing such wonderful article, I am sure this going to helpful for developer community.

  10. Emitson says:

    Krishi, it’s a great…help me out to know the types of aes encryption finally
    Best wishes from the Indonesia

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