CISSP Question of the Day: Symmetric Encryption and Integrity

By Jack Koziol

A new feature here, lets discuss a popular CISSP topic and review a single potential question you may see on the CISSP exam. Symmetric key cryptography is an important concept you need to know to pass the CISSP, and is a subject you should know if you are planning on doing anything related to information security in your daily job function. A common area of confusion, is: does symmetric cryptography support integrity? When you encrypt data with a symmetric key, it may stand to reason that because the data is encrypted, it cannot be tampered with, and the decryption will fail if the cipher text is modified. Is this assumption valid? Lets check at our assessment partner, Skillset, and see what a likely CISSP question related to this subject is, and get answers to our questions:

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