The Data Encryption Standard (DES) is a standardized symmetric encryption algorithm developed by IBM in the early 1970s. This development provided the first secure symmetric encryption method for computers and is now considered a pioneer for modern cryptography. Originally, the DES was developed for hardware encryption, which is why its use within software is comparatively sluggish.
The DES works both to encrypt and to decrypt a message with the identical key. This means that the sender and recipient of the message use and know the same key. Nowadays, the DES is considered insecure - due to the comparatively low key length - and has been replaced by the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).