Gartner Research

Understanding and Evaluating Cryptographic Systems: An Information Security Foundation

Published: 14 May 2012

ID: G00233267

Analyst(s): Ramon Krikken


Cryptographic systems provide a foundation for many information security controls, and their correct design and implementation is critical in ensuring that security objectives can be met. This assessment covers changes in the cryptographic landscape with respect to legal and regulatory compliance (as well as changes in cryptology) and presents the notion of the cryptographic ecosystem whose individual parts and totality need to be assessed when implementing cryptography solutions.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Changes in the Business and Regulatory Environment
    • Compliance Mandates Driving Adoption
    • Compliance Mandates Limiting Cryptography
    • Patent Environment
  • Changes in the Cryptographic Landscape
    • Algorithms, Key Lengths and Hash Sizes
    • Cipher Modes and Protocols
    • Random Number Generators
  • Cryptography as Part of an IT Solution
  • Assessing the Cryptographic Ecosystem
    • Software- and Hardware-Based Cryptographic Processing
    • Selecting Key Storage and Management
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses

The Details

  • Cryptographic Strength
    • Algorithm Strength
    • Key Length and Hash Size
    • Correct Implementation
  • Symmetric Encryption Systems
    • Data Encryption Standard (DES)
    • Triple DES
    • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
    • One-Time Pads
    • Secret-Key Distribution
  • Hash Functions
  • Message Authentication
  • Public-Key Encryption
    • Public-Key Distribution
    • Digital Signatures
    • Performance Issues With Public Key
    • Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA)
    • Elliptic Curve Cryptosystem
    • Identity-Based Encryption
    • Lattice-Based Encryption
  • Large-Scale Cryptographic Systems
    • Kerberos
    • Internet Cryptographic Systems and SSL/TLS

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