AES-256 is a strong encryption standard used to protect data. It stands for Advanced Encryption Standard, and it was developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

AES-256 uses a 256-bit key length, which makes it one of the strongest encryption standards available today. This means that even if someone were to gain access to your encrypted data, they would still need an extremely powerful computer in order to decrypt it successfully without having access to the correct key or passphrase used during the encryption process.

The strength of AES-256 lies primarily in its use of keys with longer lengths than other commonly used algorithms such as DES and 3DES which have only 56-bit keys respectively; this difference gives attackers much less time needed for brute force attacks on any given system using AES-256 compared with those using shorter key lengths due their increased complexity when attempting these types of attacks against them.

Additionally, since all versions are based on the Rijndael cipher algorithm, security professionals can easily upgrade from older versions like 128bit or 192bit ones up to more secure 256bit versions without needing additional hardware upgrades or changes within their environment.

Finally, since many organizations rely heavily on robust security measures like those provided by AES-256, most major operating systems come preloaded with support for this type of technology so users don’t have to worry about installing extra software just get started encrypting sensitive information quickly.

All in all, choosing an appropriate level of protection becomes easier when utilizing something as reliable and widely supported as what is offered through the implementation of various forms of Advanced Encryption Standards (AES) into one’s computing infrastructure; especially considering how difficult breaking into such systems can be even under best circumstances!