Cryptography involves turning plaintext into ciphertext (encryption) and then turning ciphertext into plaintext (decryption).
Data encryption protects confidentiality and safeguards data integrity.
A cryptographic system provides a method for protecting information by disguising it in a format that only authorised systems or individuals can read. Cryptography is generally thought of as being good at:
- Securing financial, medical, and other sensitive data;
- State and national level secrets, and;
- Intellectual property
Criminals use cryptography to hide their activities too!
At the minimum, crypto satisfies the following objectives:
1) Confidentiality – protects information from prying eyes, scrambles text so only the intended recipient can unscramble.
2) Non-repudiation – digital signatures, certificates, or a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) information.
3) Integrity – through hashing algorithms, message digests ensuring the accuracy of information.