ECC: What we can learn from Red Bull Racing

For the fourth successive year, Formula One’s Red Bull Racing are once again flirting with victory in the constructor’s championship.

You could say they’ve come up with quite the winning formula.

And their secret? Simple. Innovation and adaptation.

The security industry is not really too different to motorsports in this respect. Web security is such a fluid playing field with fluctuating regulations, pressures to improve all the time and ZERO chance of compromising on quality or safety. It’s in constant flux; driving solutions forward all the time.

In 2014, 2048-bit encryption will replace its predecessor, 1024-bit. To help with the adaptation process, ECC or Elliptic Curve Cryptography will come to the fore, to ease the transition and address increasing mobile and tablet use.

And like the latest and greatest racing car, it’s more lightweight than ever with higher speeds and even better security assurances than before. This leaves it in pole position to deal with the latest developments in the digital world.

On your marks...

The story actually begins in 1985 when two mathematicians, Mr. Koblitz and Mr. Miller, suggested the use of elliptical curves in cryptography. However in its infancy, despite its glittering potential, it was deemed too slow for the fast pace of the cyber-sphere.

Yet, now that we’re transacting on the go on a frightening - yet exciting - level, speed really is of the essence. We need a SSL solution that can keep up.

Fast-forward to around 2008 and Symantec have placed their first ECC certificate roots. In 2013, it’s finally ready for the green light.


ECC leaves RSA/DSA in its wake because it uses up less bandwidth. The algorithm contains shorter key lengths, giving us the faster loading times we, as digital petrol-heads, are constantly demanding. As a site-owner you should enjoy a significant rev in customer satisfaction.

To return to the Formula One analogy, stringent safety regulations are prevalent in the motorsports industry. The safety of drivers is paramount, just like the safety of our customers and visitors to our websites. But whereas, on occasion, safety improvements result in slower cars, ECC is both faster and offers superior protection. Remarkably, 256-bit ECC (the standard for our products) is the equivalent of 3072-bit RSA encryption. That’s 12 times stronger!

It’s like fitting a tank with a jet engine.

Symmetric Key Size (bits) RSA Key Size (bits) Elliptic Curve Key Size (bits)
80 1024 160
112 2048 224
128 3072 256
192 7680 384
256 15360 521

What’s the price for innovation? In the case of ECC, zero (one of its more obvious differences to the Formula One world).

ECC will come at no extra charge with all Symantec Pro products - Symantec Secure Site Pro and Symantec Secure Site Pro EV. It will even prove a more economical solution in the long run. Its key length is far slower to increase, which has the bonus effect of extending the life of your hardware.

Finally, this isn’t the sort of update that’ll leave you high and dry. Symantec’s roots have been in place for over five years, so your ECC certificate should have no issues working throughout your eco-system.

So that’s ECC for you: a speedier, stronger, more streamlined solution that should help deal with, what Symantec are referring to as, “an explosion in mobile device and tablet connections”.

If you’re curious about what ECC holds for safe connections, drop us a line or send over an email. 0203 805 2656 @SSL247 SSL247 on Facebook

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Posted on Thursday 19 September 2013 by Ryan Cordell

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