What is a security algorithm?

Encryption is an essential part of a technology. It ensures the effective and secure authentication of users. A security algorithm is a mathematical procedure used to encrypt data. Information is encoded and requires the use of a software key to transform the data back into its original form.

Our world-leading expertise in security algorithms

Our Security Algorithms Group of Experts (SAGE) provides our standards-makers with cryptographic algorithms and protocols specific to:

Much of the group’s work in recent years has been in support of mobile telecommunications security.

Custodian of algorithms

ETSI is the custodian (distributing authority) of various algorithms. As custodian, we handle licensing of the algorithms and distribution of the relevant specifications and other confidential information. To use certain algorithms, written authorization may be required and a fee may be payable. Additional authorizations, typically concerning Intellectual Property Rights, may also be necessary.

ETSI algorithms

A list of the algorithms we have developed ourselves is available on our website. This list includes conditions for their use and how to obtain them.

Custodian of other algorithms

We also act as custodian for several algorithms produced by other organizations:

Information about these algorithms and their use can be found on the 3GPP website.

Applying for a license

Companies may be licensed to use these algorithms in the manufacture or development of products and services. The steps required to obtain such a licence are set out in a series of agreements:


We assign and manage codes for various technologies. These codes are used, for example, to identify the manufacturer, installer or operator of communication systems.

For further information, please contact us.

We use cookies or similar technologies to collect data about your use of this website and to improve your experience when using it. To find out how to disable our cookies, please visit our Privacy Policy.

  I accept cookies from this site.