In recent years, cyber attacks on public and private organizations have grown exponentially. These attacks come from multiple sources such as organized crime, industrial espionage … that seek to obtain economic advantages for the information they obtain or damage the trust of customers and citizens by revealing confidential information. The cryptography is a security measure to prevent disclosure of sensitive information by making it unintelligible to unauthorized persons. What is cryptography in network security
What is? What is cryptography in network security
The cryptography is a method of storing and transmitting data so that only those who are authorized to do so can read and process them . It is considered as a science of information security, encoding it in a non-readable format . It is an effective way to protect sensitive information for storage and transmission over public networks.
What is cryptography used for in computing?
The main objective of cryptography, and the mechanisms that make it possible, is to hide information from unauthorized individuals . However, with enough time, resources, and motivation, hackers are capable of attacking and breaking many cryptosystems and decrypting the encoded information. For this reason, the most realistic purpose of this science is to hinder the activity of attackers, increasing the work and time necessary to break the system.
- Confidentiality: the information is only intelligible by authorized persons.
- Integrity: the information can only be modified by authorized persons.
- Authentication: verifies the identity of the person or system that creates the information.
- Authorization: the authorized individual who has the key is the one who has access to the information.
- Non-repudiation of the information: the sender of the information cannot deny that he sent the message in question.
Cryptography: key concepts
- Plain text: the data in normal format.
- Ciphertext: the data transformed into an unintelligible format.
- Algorithm or encryption: set of rules to encrypt and decrypt information. The main encryption / decryption algorithms are known, what are not known are the encryption keys.
- Key: it is a set or sequence of random bits with which the information is encrypted.
- Cryptosystem strength: it depends on the algorithm, the confidentiality of the key or keys, its length, the initialization vectors, and various system parameters. It refers to how difficult it is to break the algorithm or decipher the information for an attacker.
- Symmetric encryption: the information is encrypted using a key that is the same as the one used to decrypt it. It is a faster algorithm than the asymmetric one, less computationally expensive speaking. The larger the size of the key, the more expensive it is to break, but it requires both ends of the communication to know the key, which is a weakness.
- Asymmetric or public key encryption: different keys are used, one public and one private. Both keys are mathematically related. For example, if we encrypt the data with our private key and send it to a recipient, they must have a copy of our public key in order to decrypt it. It is a more computationally expensive algorithm, although it does not have the weakness that both ends of the communication have the same key.
- Hybrid cryptography: It is a type of encryption that uses both symmetric and asymmetric encryption. Asymmetric encryption is used to share the key required for symmetric encryption. The PGP encryption program uses this type of cryptography.
- Quantum cryptography: it is based on the principles of quantum mechanics for the encryption of information. It allows the two extremes of communication, making use of lasers to emit in the photon (which is the constituent particle of light) the information necessary to share a random secret key that only the extremes know. It has the property that the presence of intruders can be detected during the generation of the key.
There are therefore different elements and types of cryptography that must be understood as the technique that allows a message to be encrypted so that it is unreadable to anyone who does not know the encryption system.