As the blogosphere and the internet world keeps changing with constant development and the introduction of new features, trends and solutions, It is important to also take note of the security of our data on the internet too as more tricks are being executed and discovered at the same time. To ensure security and safety, SSL certificates are recommended by most developers, however, these SSL certificates most commonly use RSA keys and the recommended size of these keys keeps increasing (e.g., from 1024 bit to 2048 bit a few years ago) to maintain sufficient cryptographic strength.

An alternative to RSA is ECC. Both key types share the same important property of being asymmetric algorithms (one key for encrypting and one key for decrypting). However, ECC can offer the same level of cryptographic strength at much smaller key sizes – offering improved security with reduced computational requirements. On this post we shall take a look at what ECC is and why you may want to consider using it.

Firstly, you should know that ECC stands for Elliptic Curve Cryptography, and is an approach to public key cryptography based on elliptic curves over finite fields.

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The biggest differentiator between ECC and RSA is key size compared to cryptographic strength as illustrated in the image below:

As you can see in the chart above, ECC is able to provide the same cryptographic strength as an RSA-based system with much smaller key sizes. For example, a 256 bit ECC key is equivalent to RSA 3072 bit keys (which are 50% longer than the 2048 bit keys commonly used today). The latest, most secure symmetric algorithms used by TLS (eg. AES) use at least 128 bit keys, so it makes sense that the asymmetric keys provide at least this level of security.

Wondering why you should consider using ECC? The small key sizes make ECC very appealing for devices with limited storage or processing power, which are becoming increasingly common in the IoT. In terms of more traditional web server use cases, the smaller key sizes can offer speedier SSL handshakes (which can translate to faster page load times) and stronger security. See the image below for further comparisons and reasons you might want to consider using ECC certificates.

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Do you currently have an e-commerce website, a mobile application or any platform where internet security is very important? You might want to make further inquiries as regards ECC and the SSL certificate you probably have installed on your platform. Webkraft, LLC offers ECC for all our SSL certificates. If you are interested in ordering an ECC SSL certificate or want to replace your existing SSL certificate, please contact us via email to: info@webkraftng.com or visit or website contact us page for more available ways to get in touch with us.

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