Meaning – The word asymmetric, in the context of computer security, refers to the use of different keys for the processes of encryption and decryption. Here, the encryption keyis referred to as the ‘Public Key’ and the decryption key is known as ‘Private Key’. The way this works is that the data that is encrypted using the public key can only be decrypted using the corresponding private key.
It is interesting to note that the public and private keys are mathematically related, but at the same time, it is impossible to derive one using the other. This is why, an individual can distribute the public key to absolutely anyone, but the information can be viewed by the people who have the private key.
This method of encryption is widely used in organisations all over the world, as it ensures complete security of data and the sender can exercise complete control over who can view the data.
Example of usage – “The Public key was sent to 50 recipients, but only 5 of them had the corresponding private key”.