A set of techniques used when transmitting data using SSL. A cipher suite is made up of a key exchange technique, an encryption technique, and a hashing technique. The key exchange technique defines how a web server and a web browser exchange an encryption key used to encrypt and decrypt the data being transmitted. The encryption type identifies the type of encryption in use. The hashing technique indicates the type of hashing that is used to assure data integrity during the transmission.
A set of authentication, encryption, and data integrity algorithms used for exchanging messages between network nodes. During an SSL handshake, for example, the two nodes negotiate to see which cipher suite they will use when transmitting messages back and forth.