Understanding Cryptography and Cryptography Algorithms

Understanding Cryptography and Cryptography Algorithms


Secure data transfer is highly important in any business system. The main purpose of encryption is to let authorized users to view the data whilst making it unreadable to any unauthorized person. It serves as the base for the security as well privacy required when sending or receiving the data on the internet. Algorithms are creations of math and the basis for every encryption methods being used these days. Even if it is really complicated, many people like math because of the creativity it can bring about.

Since computers are getting smarter day by day, algorithms seem to become weaker. This calls for experts to find out new solutions, and this is the how cryptography has evolved to beat the bad. So, how you can do this? First, there is a need of building an authentic and confidential cryptosystem which can create the key(s) to encrypt and then decrypt the data.

The data in normal and readable state is known as plain text while data that has gone through encryption process is called cipher-text. The purpose of cryptography algorithms is to turn plain-text data into cipher-text. Typically, the quantity and type of algorithms to be used depend on the encryption method chosen. The process of encryption is done with “keys”. In some methods, keys are responsible for both encrypting and decrypting the data.


Cryptography is a technique to hide the data using microdots, merging or images and words or with other ways. Technically, this process can be termed as converting scrambling plaintext into encrypted form known as cipher-text. Similarly, the process of decrypting the data is referred to clear-text. This entire process is what we call cryptography while people who practice in this field are called cryptographers.

Modern cryptography works according to the following key objectives:

  • Integrity – No message can be altered once it’s released.
  • Confidentiality – Unauthorized people cannot understand the information shared between the sender and the receiver.
  • Authentication – The cryptography system only uses authentic information and sources to work. It allows participants of a conversation to identify each other as well as the destination of the information.
  • Controlled Access – Cryptography allows only authorized people to access the confidential data.
  • Non-repudiation – Messages cannot be stepped back at a later stage.

Cryptography Algorithms

Cryptography algorithms are one of the available encryption techniques used by organizations and businesses. Cryptography at its core is undiluted math. Over the years, computer engineers and developers have created a number of signing algorithm to produce these keys. Some of these algorithms have since been denounced because of the increased computing power. Let’s discuss some of the important cryptography algorithms that are used in order to meet the objectives described above.

Symmetric Cryptography

As a secret key cryptography algorithm, this technique allows both the sender and the receiver to share the similar secret codes and keys for encrypting and decrypting data. Symmetric cryptography is particularly useful if you want to communicate with a limited number of users though it does not help with mass communication.

This algorithm can be classified with block ciphers and stream ciphers. Usually a stream cipher is used where the number of plaintext is mingled with a pseudo-random cipher digit stream. Block ciphers, on the other hand, take the size of bits and encrypt them as rounds. This pads the plaintext in order to make it in a multiple of a block size.

The symmetric cryptography algorithm is not kept as a secret itself. When using it, the participants of a communication have to place their copies of the secret key in a secure place. The use of secret key can also decrypt your data when used by someone else hence it is important to be cautious accordingly.

There are many popular symmetric cryptography algorithms used for the encryption and decryption of data but it is not possible to merge them all in a single post. Some of those include DES or Data Encryption Standard, AES or Advanced Encryption Standard, MARS, IDEA, RC, RC4, RC5, Blowfish, Twofish, Serpent.

Asymmetric Cryptography Algorithm

This is the public key cryptography algorithm wherein separate keys are assigned for encryption and decryption of the data. Asymmetric cryptography algorithm works for key exchange and digital signatures, such as public key cryptography standards and digital signature algorithm. Anyone with the public key can easily encrypt a packet of data though it can only be decrypted by the holder of the private key. In simple words, the security of your data depends on how secret you can keep your private keys. Some of the important asymmetric cryptography algorithms are diffie-hellman, RSA, and Elliptic curve.

Message Digest – Also known as one-way encryption, this cryptography algorithm permanently encrypts the data using a hash function.

Important Terms Used for Cryptography Algorithms

After you know some of the most popular cryptography algorithms, it might be a better idea to recap on a few terms that you may come across multiple time when using them for date encryption and decryption.

  • Brute Force Attack – Also known as a dictionary attack, it is a trial-and-error method to obtain the private key of encrypted data. This is done using a computer to higher the computational power. The increased computer power and performance help find the private key unless you increase the key length in order to let a higher number of possibilities go.
  • Encryption Key Sizes – This refers to the number of bits in a key used by a cryptography algorithm. Using the correct key is a must to decrypt a cipher-text i.e. output into plaintext i.e. input. With the advanced CPU power and less computational time, key size or length in cryptography can be seen up to 4096 bits.
  • Block Sizes – Some cryptography algorithms make use of block ciphers to encrypt and decrypt information in blocks i.e. groups of bits with fixed length.

The Final Words

In today’s scenario, hacking or altering the data or information has become easy while the theft of confidential information is still an upsetting phenomenon for many. Cryptography is intended to protect the network resources against destruction, modification, and their illegal utilization using cryptography algorithms and techniques. This helps secure the overall network system, the confidential data, and IT assets. Cryptography comes with several algorithms, one of which is used to link your public and private key pair though it is computationally impossible to derive the public key from the private key so these key pairs can be used securely. The AKA asymmetric cryptography is public-key cryptography. Every participant needs to have a pair of public and private key to encrypt and then decrypt the data through any encryption technique with public-key cryptography utilization.

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