Cryptography is one of the topics that I am considering studying more once I am finished with the bachelor and moving on to the Master programme. The good thing is that I am already now in the bachelor getting a taste of what it is like.
Cryptography is good for a number of reasons. Here are four of them:
Confidentiality – you can encrypt your content so that no one else sees it. One of the biggest keys to information security that is.
Authentication – by applying a digital signature you can be assured that it is coming from the correct source – and not a false one.
Data integrity – encryption is also a guarantee that the content that you are receiving has not been modified during its transit.
Non-repudiation – When receiving data from someone who has given a signature and you can be sure it hasn’t been modified in transit – the sender can not falsely deny later what they have sent.
To encrypt data you scramble it using an algorithm. The best encryption methods today dont even hide the code – because the protection lies in the key. To descramble the data – you need to have the correct key, otherwise you are screwed 🙂
There are two different types of encryption used today. First is symmetric which consists of one key. The problem with this is how to deliver the key – which would have to travel from the sender to the receiver. The other is Asymmetric which consists of two keys. This is good for example when there is only need for encryption one way. This is good when you need one key to be public and the other a secret. A good example of this is how WikiLeaks lets you submit content.
I can’t wait dig deep into this later, but for now we only had a brief introduction.