Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) is a public key encryption method that is based on elliptic curve theory that is used to create faster, smaller, and more efficient cryptographic keys. Historically, encryption keys were generated through large prime numbers. Prime number generated encryption keys have been replaced by ECC which generates keys through properties of the elliptic curve equation instead. ECC is known for being extremely efficient and more secure when compared to prime number or alternate methods. An ECC can yield a level of security using a 164-bit key that other systems would require a 1,024-bit key to achieve.
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What does this mean for a SMB?
This form of encryption is much stronger and more efficient than earlier methods. Most SMB’s will be forced into using this form of cryptography and key generation when they buy SSL certificates, use encrypted links to websites, and backup data with encryption to the cloud. SMBs are only given the choice of the type of encryption to use, not the key generation process. SMBs should never chose DES or 3DES encryption and should always chose AES encryption with key sizes in 2020 of at least 256 bits.