Identify Use Case for Asymmetric and Symmetric Encryption and Hash Cryptography

The guided IT Pro Challenge reviews general encryption characteristics, differences between asymmetric and symmetric encryption, and hash cryptography. This virtual lab gives System Administrators, Network Operations Specialists, Network Analysts, System Administrators, and Network Engineers confidence to advise on and keep systems secure.

45 minutes
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Learners, in this virtual lab, test their knowledge about cryptographic fundamentals, including general concepts, asymmetric, and symmetric encryption properties, and hash cryptography practices. This guided challenge assesses beginners with multiple choice questions, providing hints, and answer keys along the way.

As you work through this 45-minute lab, you identify why and when to use encryption, along with different cryptography standards and methods. You go over the pluses and minuses of different types of cryptography, and standard cryptographic terms. For example, asymmetric cryptography provides more security when receiving a network transmission. However, symmetric encryption validates more quickly. Hash cryptography validates that a file sent is the same one obtained.

The knowledge you gain from this lab applies to making security recommendations as a System Administrator or in another IT security role. Also, you utilize understanding in encryption configurations to set up and secure server and user machines, having a variety of hardware and operating systems.

Understanding the Scenario:

In this lab, you are a systems administrator responsible for system security. You must identify the attributes and concepts of encryption. First, you answer questions about general encryption topics. Next, you identify attributes of symmetric encryption, and then you identify asymmetric encryption attributes. Finally, you identify hash cryptography concepts.

Identify Encryption Attributes:

You warm-up your skills while defining encryption and integrity in this lab section. You identify hashtag string lengths too. Hash results contain a set number of characters in a string, usually shorter than the data sent in a file. You see why choosing the symmetric encryption scheme requires only one key to encrypt and decrypt the data. At the end of this portion, you ready yourself for the additional lab challenges.

Identify Symmetric Encryption Attributes:

Learners refresh their understanding of symmetric encryption configurations, advantages, drawbacks, and examples. You define Advanced Standard Encryption (AES) as one symmetric algorithm, a U.S. specification. You learn that Blowfisher is a cipher to decrypt information sent through symmetric encryption. After taking this section, you grasp basic terms for any discussion about symmetric encryption.

Identify Asymmetric Encryption Attributes:

These asymmetric encryption exercises recap basic ideas and terms around asymmetric encryption. You review configurations of different keys, public and private, and how they work. You identify related concepts around public key infrastructure (PKI), certificates (storage for public keys), and digital signatures (private key encryption, requiring public key decryption). You reinforce knowledge about HTTPS: a protocol to secure web traffic and your private keys abilities in decrypting data.

Identify Hash Cryptography Attributes:

You describe standard code that employs hash cryptography Message Digest 5 (MD5) and Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA). You review the purpose of hashtagging, to ensure identical files. You review that a hash comes with no decryption cipher and cannot reverse itself. Completing this lab section reinforces general hash cryptography concepts.


Learners come away confident in their knowledge of:

  • General encryption attributes.
  • Symmetric encryption attributes.
  • Asymmetric encryption attributes.
  • Hash cryptography attributes.

As a result, they can apply their knowledge as their IT department makes recommendations about system security, select the best encryption and decryption tools, and configure encrypted data.