What is Cryptography?

By Global Trust Association

08 August, 2019 | 16:08hrs

As we adopt Digital Technology in our organization, information security measures and controls become increasingly important. There is a lot of critical and confidential information that travels over the internet and is susceptible to any cyberattack.

To prevent our data from being exposed in cyberspace, we must encode or encrypt it. Cryptography consists precisely in hiding our data using different methodologies and standards, applying algorithms associated with passwords in such a way that the information sent is a chain of characters that differs totally from our real data and must only be intelligible by the person destined to receive the message.

There are two main types of cryptography: symmetric and asymmetric. Symmetric cryptography –called “unique key”– uses the same key to encode as it does to decode the hidden message. This method has the advantage of efficient processing time; however, it requires a secure environment so that the key can be shared by those who wish to exchange information. On the other hand, asymmetric cryptography uses two distinct keys, a public key (which can be freely disclosed) and a private key (kept secret by its owner). Thus, messages encrypted with the public key can only be decoded with the corresponding private key.

Cryptography is used not only to protect our information confidentiality, but it also allows us to ensure the data origin and identity authenticity.

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