Cryptography is the process of encoding data, such as emails and online transactions, to make it difficult to decipher. Cryptography is a vital cybersecurity practice that can help prevent malicious attacks and keep sensitive information safe.
Unlike traditional forms of encryption, which require a code to be deciphered, cryptography uses a complex set of mathematical algorithms and techniques to transform data into a complex code that can’t be read without a key. It also protects data in transit and ensures that information isn’t tampered with or shared with untrusted parties.
When you’re trying to communicate with someone over the internet, it’s important to be sure that nobody else can see or hear the conversation. That’s why it’s essential to use a secure platform, such as Skype or WhatsApp, to send messages. However, if a smart hacker has access to your communication, they can try to corrupt or change the message that you’re sending.
For example, let’s say that you’re sending a message to your friend Sam. He lives on the other side of the world and he wants to be sure that nobody else can access the message. To do this, you need to encrypt the message using a method that jumbles up the data in a way that only a skilled person can read.
This process can be done by using a variety of different types of cryptography. These include shift ciphers, cryptographic keys and digital signatures, and hashing.
Shift Ciphers are a type of encryption that uses the alphabet to replace a letter seven positions down the alphabet. For instance, if you wrote “Apple,” your cipher would be written “hwwsl” (A -> H, P -> W, L -> S, E -> L).
The word cryptography comes from the Greek words kryptos, which means hidden or secret and graphein, which means to write. Originally, these were used to describe the art of hiding messages from enemies by handwriting them on leather or paper.
Since then, cryptography has evolved and grown as technology has advanced. Today, cryptography is used to secure data, protect communications, and even encrypt currency.
It’s an essential part of modern cybersecurity, and it can be one of the first steps toward a rewarding career in this growing field. A degree in cyber security can provide you with a solid foundation in the theory and practice of cryptography.
Cryptography can also be used to protect email, cloud storage, and web communications. For instance, FPE, or full-packet encryption, is a powerful cloud encryption method that offers higher levels of protection than RSA encryption. It’s also used in SSL/TLS protocols to strengthen the security of web communications.
Another common type of cryptography is elliptic curve cryptography, which uses shorter keys than RSA encryption to boost security. It’s used in one-way encryption of emails, and digital signatures in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
It’s also possible to use quantum computing techniques to develop stronger ciphers. Although quantum computers are unlikely to be built in the next decade, the power of physics can be leveraged to create more secure cryptography.