With asymmetric encryption, the key used for encryption has to be shared over the internet. This creates high risk in terms of the security of the encrypted data and the possibility of the key falling into the wrong hands. As a result in order to waive such risks, asymmetric encryption is used. The asymmetric encryption makes use of private keys. A key pair is formed where the public key is available to the sender freely over the internet while the second key, the private key is kept secret.
“Any message (text, binary files, or documents) that are encrypted by using the public key can only be decrypted by applying the same algorithm, but by using the matching private key. Any message that is encrypted by using the private key can only be decrypted by using the matching public key. This means that you do not have to worry about passing public keys over the Internet (the keys are supposed to be public). A problem with asymmetric encryption, however, is that it is slower than symmetric encryption. It requires far more processing power to both encrypt and decrypt the content of the message.” (‘Description of Symmetric and Asymmetric Encryption’, 2007)