What is Cryptography : Types, Tools and Its Algorithms

These days, every human activity is deeply associated with computing systems. This computing technology is implemented in every application in the domain of healthcare, education, banking, software, and marketing. But you might get wondered how organizations secure their information and how your banking transactions are kept confidential. The answer to all of these is “Cryptography”. Almost 90% of the internet websites implement either type of cryptography service to handle their sensitive data. Also, cryptography secures Gmail information in an encrypted format as this data float all across the Google data centers. So, cryptography stands as the fundamental feature to safeguard the shared information.

What is Cryptography?

Cryptography is the method of transmitting secured data and communications via few codes so that only the destined person knows about the actual information that is transmitted. This form of process intercepts unauthorized accessibility for the data. So, in clear the name itself indicates that “crypt” refers to “hidden” to “writing”. Encoding of information in cryptography follows mathematical hypotheses and few calculations described as algorithms. The encoded data is transmitted so that it makes it difficult to find the original data. These sets of rules are utilized in the procedures of digital signing, authentication to secure data, cryptographic key development and to safeguard all your financial transactions. Mostly, cryptography is followed by the organizations to go with the objectives of:


Privacy – The transmitted data should not be known by external parties except for the intended individual.

Reliability – the data cannot be modified in storage or transfer between the sender and the destined receiver having no kind of modification.

Non-repudiation – Once the data is transmitted, the sender has no chance to deny it in the later phases.

Authentication – Both the sender and receiver need to circumstantiate their own identities about the transmitted and received data.

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Cryptography Basic Flow
cryptography basic flow

Cryptography Types

In cryptography, encryption of the information is classified as three types where those are discussed below:

Symmetric Key Cryptography – This is also termed as Private or Secret key cryptography. Here, both the information receiver and the sender make use of a single key to encrypt and decrypt the message. The frequent kind of cryptography used in this method is AES (Advanced Encryption System). The approaches implemented through this type are completely streamlined and quicker too. Few types of Symmetric key cryptography are

  • Block
  • Block cipher
  • DES (Data Encryption System)
  • RC2
  • IDEA
  • Blowfish
  • Stream cipher
Symmetric Encryption
symmetric encryption

Asymmetric Key Cryptography

This is also termed as Public-key cryptography. It follows a varied and protected method in the transmission of information. Using a couple of keys, both the sender and receiver go with encryption and decryption processes. A private key is stored with each person and the public key is shared across the network so that a message can be transmitted through public keys. The frequent kind of cryptography used in this method is RSA. The public key method is more secure than that of a private key. Few of the kinds of Asymmetric key cryptography are:

  • RSA
  • DSA
  • PKCs
  • Elliptic curve techniques
  • Asymmetric Encryption
    asymmetric encryption

Hash Function

Taking the arbitrary length of the message as input and delivering a fixed length of the output is the algorithm followed by a hash function. It is also termed as a mathematical equation by taking numerical values as input and produce the hash message. This method will not need any kind of key as it functions in a one-way scenario. There are various rounds of hashing operations and every round considers input as an array of the recent block and generates last round activity as output. Few of the functionalities of the hash are:

  • Message Digest 5 (MD5)
  • RIPEMD
  • Whirlpool
  • SHA (Secure hash Algorithm)
Hash Function
hash function

Cryptography Tools

Cryptography tools are more useful in the situations of signature confirmation, code signing and to perform other cryptography activities. Here are the extensively used cryptography tools.

Security Token

This token is utilized to verify the user. A security token is supposed to be encrypted to perform a protected exchange of information. Also, it provides complete statefulness for the HTTP protocol. So, the server-side formulated token is utilized by a browser to go on with the state. In general, it is the method that moves with remote authentication.

 JCA

This is the tool used to authorize the encryption process. This tool might be termed as Java cryptographic libraries. These Java libraries are included with predefined activities where those need to be imported before implementation. Although it is the Java library, it works in proportion with other frameworks and thus supports the development of multiple applications.

SignTool.exe

This is the popular tool mostly used by Microsoft to sign the files. Adding a signature and time stamp to any kind of file is the prominent feature supported by this tool. With the timestamp in the file, it holds the ability to authenticate the file. The whole feature in SignTool.exe ensures for augmented reliability of the file.

Docker

Using docker one can build huge applications. The information maintained in the docker is completely in an encrypted format. In this, cryptography has to be strictly followed to move with encryption of data. Furthermore, both files and information are encrypted thus allowing no one to access the things having no exact access key. Docker is also contemplated as cloud storage allowing users to manage the information either on a dedicated or shared server.

CertMgr.exe

This is the installation file as it is in .exe-extension format. CertMgr holds good for the management of various certificates. Along with this, it even handles CRLs where those are certificate revocation lists. The objective of cryptography in certificate development is to ensure that the information that is exchanged between the parties is more protected and this tool supports to add additional bits in protection.

Authentication Using Key

Here, the encrypted information has to be decrypted through keys. The normal information is easily understood by everyone whereas the encrypted information is known only by the destined user. This tool has two kinds of encryption techniques and those are:

  • Symmetric Key Cryptography
  • Asymmetric Key Cryptography

So, cryptography tools are mostly used in every secured activity and there are many tools available where users can choose the one depending on their necessities.

Algorithms

The cryptography algorithms include the following.

In this IoT domain, security matters the most. Though there are many security mechanisms in practice, they do not hold the ability to come up with current day smart applications mainly for the software operating with resource-constraint equipment. In a consequence of this, cryptography algorithms came into practice ensuring enhanced security. So, few of the cryptographic algorithms are as follows:

Triple DES

Taking over from the conventional DES mechanism, triple DES was currently implemented in the security approaches. These algorithms permit hackers to ultimately gained the knowledge to overcome in an easy approach. This was the extensively implemented approach by many of the enterprises. Triple DES operates with 3 keys having 56 bits per each key. The entire key length is a maximum of bits, whereas experts would contend that 112-bits in key intensity is more probable. This algorithm handles to make a reliable hardware encryption answer for banking facilities and also for other industries.

Blowfish

To replace the approaches of Triple DES, Blowfish was mainly developed. This encryption algorithm split up messages into clocks having 64 bits and encrypts these clocks separately. The captivating feature that lies in Blowfish is its speed and efficacy. As this is an open algorithm for everyone, many gained the benefits of implementing this. Every scope of the IT domain ranging from software to e-commerce is making use of this algorithm as it shows extensive features for password protection. All these allow this algorithm to be most prominent in the market.

RSA

One of the public-key encryption algorithms used to encrypt information transmitted through the internet. It was a widely used algorithm in GPG and PGP methodologies. RSA is classified under symmetric type of algorithms as it performs its operation using a couple of keys. One of the keys is used for encryption and the other for decryption purposes.

Twofish

This algorithm implements keys to provide security and as it comes under the symmetric method, only one key is necessary. The keys of this algorithm are with the maximum length of 256 bits. Of the most available algorithms, Twofish is mainly known by its speed and perfect to be implemented both in the hardware and software applications. Also, it is an openly accessible algorithm and has been in execution by many.

AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)

This is the most trusted algorithm technique by U.S administration and many other enterprises. Even though this works efficiently in 128-bit encryption form, 192 and 256 bits are mainly used for huge encryption activities. Being so invulnerable to all hacking systems, the AES technique receives extensive applause for encrypting information in the private domain.

Applications of Cryptography

Applications for cryptography as below.

Conventionally, cryptography was in implementation only for securing purposes. Wax seals, hand signatures and few other kinds of security methods were generally utilized to make sure of reliability and accuracy of the transmitter. And with the arrival of digital transmissions, security becomes more essential and then cryptography mechanisms began to outstrip its utilization for maintaining utmost secrecy. A few of the applications of cryptography are discussed below.

To Maintain Secrecy in Storage

Cryptography allows storing the encrypted data permitting users to stay back from the major hole of circumvention by hackers.

Reliability in Transmission

A conventional approach that allows reliability is to carry out a checksum of the communicated information and then communicate the corresponding checksum in an encrypted format. When both the checksum and encrypted data is received, the data is again checksummed and compared to the communicated checksum after the process of decryption. Thus, effective cryptographic mechanisms are more crucial to assure reliability in message transmission.

Authentication of Identity

Cryptography is strongly linked to the approach of using passwords, and innovative systems probably make use of strong cryptographic methods together with the physical methods of individuals and collective secrets offering highly reliable verification of identity.

Examples

The examples of cryptography include the following.

One of the prominent examples of cryptography encryption these days is end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp. This feature is included in WhatsApp through the asymmetry model or via public key methods. Here only the destined member knows about the actual message. Once after the installation of WhatsApp is finished, public keys are registered with the server and then messages are transmitted.

The next real-time application of cryptography is digital signatures. In the situation that when two clients are necessary to sign documents for a business transaction. But when two clients never come across each other they might not believe each other. Then encryption in the digital signatures ensures enhanced authentication and security.

As cyber-attacks are constantly progressing, security needs to be more necessary and thus cryptography methodologies also become more prominent. These cryptographic algorithms not only let down the hacking activities but shows no scope for these activities to emerge. Get the idea of what are the other tools and technologies available in cryptographic scenarios?

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