The following has been extracted from a JScape's website article answering the question: "Should we start using 4096 bit …?"
In case you're curious where we got the idea of 2048-bit encryption keys being safe to use until 2030, check out the NIST Special Publication 800-57 Part1.
In Table 2 of that document, it says 2048-bit RSA keys are roughly equivalent to a Security Strength of 112.
Security strength is simply a number associated with the amount of work required to break a cryptographic algorithm.
Basically, the higher that number, the greater the amount of work required.
A future proof security solution can mitigate the risk of cyber threats.
We know that cyber criminals are always one step ahead of security professionals, so we're not 100% sure 2048-bit keys are going to remain unbreakable before 2030.
It was once said:
It would take the combined processing power of every computer in the world thousands of years to crack 4096-bit encryption.
Hackers will always look for the weakest link, which is usually a person who makes an error which opens up a gap in an otherwise secure system.
In a more general context (outside of encrypted secure website traffic/data) it has also been said:
Data with 4096-bit encryption (only protected by a password) could still be compromised within seconds.
How? Human error.
Easy pass-phrase, written down password, re-used password... etc. basically, always be on the lookout for the weakest link.
Trust the technology, but never trust the weak link - the user!
This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.