What Is Cryptography?


15 August, 2016

Cryptography is a form of information security technique that involves converting cleartext into an indecipherable format, known as ciphertext, so that it can be securely transmitted over the internet. It ensures that the encrypted information can be read and processed only by the user it is actually intended for. Cryptography software makes use of mathematical algorithms to encrypt information and requires the user to enter a key in order to change it back to plain text.

Types Of Cryptographic Algorithms

  • Secret Key Cryptography: Also known as symmetric key cryptography, it uses the same key for both encryption and decryption of information. The key is known only to the sender and receiver.
  • Public Key Cryptography: In this, the sender encrypts the information using a public key and the receiver can decode it through a private key. It is also referred to as asymmetric key cryptography.
  • Hash Functions: This form of cryptography does not involve the use of any key. Hash functions, also called one-way encryption or message digests, are mainly aimed at ensuring data integrity. In this, the plain text is converted in the form of a fixed length hash value. If the data is modified at any stage, the hash value gets changed and indicates unauthorized access.

Benefits Of Cryptography

  • Confidentiality: It prevents the information from being accessed by anyone else except the end user.
  • Data Integrity: It safeguards the data against undetected modifications, either during transmission or after being stored on the computer.
  • Authentication: Both sender and receiver can authenticate each other’s identity.
    Non-Repudiation: The sender cannot deny the authorship of the information at a later stage.

Drawbacks Of Cryptography

  • A strongly encrypted information may make it difficult even for the authorized users to access it if they do not have the key.
  • The sender cannot allow selective access to the information with the use of cryptography.
  • Cryptographic algorithms are based on complex mathematical computations. Thus, it may slow down your computer’s speed to encrypt and decrypt the data.
  • Cryptography is a time consuming process. It takes too long to create the code and transmit it to the receiver.
  • It does not protect the information from other potential threats arising out of poor infrastructure and security procedures.

Centex Technologies provides efficient IT security solutions to the business firms in Central Texas. For more information, feel free to call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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