The Data Encryption Standard (DES) is a widely used symmetric encryption algorithm. It was developed by IBM in the early 1970s and standardized by the U.S. standards organization NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) in 1977. Today, DES is not considered sufficiently secure for many applications due to the key length of only 56 bits used. With foresight, NIST standardized a successor as early as the end of the 1990s with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).