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Andy
Andy, Computer Consultant
Category: Computer
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Experience:  11yr exp, Comp Engg, Internet expert, Web developer, SEO
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What is the largest piece of information that can safely be

Customer Question

What is the largest piece of information that can safely be encrypted using asymmetric keys?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Michael Norman replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is, Mike. In regards ***** ***** question about encryption, there are no size limitations to a given encryption method. The limitations are within the systems encrypting/decrypting the data (e.g. processing power). Asymmetric encryption is typically not used for encrypting large amounts of data merely due to symmetric encryption is faster. That's not to say you can' encrypt large amounts of data using asymmetric methods, its just going to take longer to encrypt/decrypt and utilize more system resources to do so. You have to look at your business case/needs and determine which method is best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That is not correct. While it's true that asymmetric encryption is inefficient for all but the smallest files (such as symmetric keys), it is also true that encrypting larger files increases the probability that the key pair will be discovered.All I wanted to know was the practical file size cutoff that one should not exceed with asymmetric encryption.
Expert:  Michael Norman replied 1 year ago.

Also too it depends on inf you are talking about data at rest (e.g. stored data) or data in motion (e.g. messages). For data in motion your size limitations deal with message payload. With asymmetric encryption your message size increases and that has to be taken into account given your payload limitations.

For data at rest AES encryption (symmetric encryption) is limited to n*2^n/2 bits where n=128 which would mean that you have a limit of approximately 250 million TBs. RSA or asymmetric ciphers are reserved from messages because their size is limited to the size of the key length. Not adequate for encrypting large chunks of data. So if your key is 4096 then your are restricted to 4096 bits of data. Then as I have mentioned previously asymmetric encryption is really slow versus symmetric encryption which is significantly faster. So to answer your question about size limitations with asymmetric encryption it is dependent on the size of the key.