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What is Cryptography in Cyber Security?

As the world continues to become more and more digitised, security has become an unavoidable component of data protection. This is where encryption and cybersecurity applications come into play.

Cryptography is considered to be one of the oldest, most trustworthy, and extensively utilised methods of protecting IT assets. Almost every company uses encryption to protect critical data and IT infrastructure. So, then, what is cryptography in the cybersecurity domain? It involves the use of various algorithms to encrypt and decrypt data at rest and in transit. So, let's go into detail on what cryptography in cyber security is, its importance, its different types, and the various ways it is used to make your lives simpler.

What is Cryptography?

Cryptography is the process of hiding data and information in an unreadable manner to make sure only the intended recipients can understand and access it. It is the study of secure communication in which only the message sender and intended recipient have access to and understanding of the message's contents.

Although cryptography has been used since ancient Egyptian times, the science of coding has advanced greatly with time. Modern cryptography is a blend of various disciplines, including advanced digital technology, engineering, and arithmetic. It helps create highly secure and advanced cyphers and algorithms to protect sensitive data in the digital age.

In the context of cyber security, it refers to the application of decryption and encryption algorithms to protect sensitive information from unauthorised access and exploitation. It is widely used for digital signatures, secure communication, cryptographic key generation, and data verification.

The Importance of Cryptography

To see cryptography through the lens of cyber security, it would be channelled by the importance of cryptography in security. So, let’s find out!

The process of cryptography ensures that sensitive information remains confidential by changing plaintext data into ciphertext. This makes it unreadable to unauthorised individuals. Thus, data privacy is one of the essential features of cryptography. Moreover, this mechanism maintains the integrity of the data during storage or transmission, thereby delivering unaltered and tamper-proof data.

They also contain digital signatures. So, the sender of the message cannot deny their intentions or actions while sending the information.

Types of Cryptography

In cyber security, you can apply cryptographic techniques in a number of ways. So, different uses of techniques result in different kinds of cryptography. Mainly, there are three important types of cryptography:

  • Symmetric Cryptography
  • In symmetric cryptography, both the sender and the receiver use a single common key to encrypt and decrypt messages. This method is efficient and fast. The only challenge lies in exchanging the key between the sender and the receiver in a secure manner.

    Popular symmetric key encryption systems include data encryption standard (DES) and advanced encryption standard (AES).

  • Asymmetric Cryptography
  • This type of cryptography is also known as public key encryption. It involves using a set of mathematically related pairs of keys: a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption. The public key for encryption can be widely distributed, allowing anyone to encrypt messages. However, only the holder of the corresponding private key can decrypt them. This method allows both parties to communicate over public channels without sharing any secret keys.

    It is commonly used in secure protocols such as hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS), secure sockets layer (SSL) and secure shell or secure socket shell (SSH).

  • Hash Function
  • These are the types of cryptographic algorithms that do not require any keys. Instead, they encrypt the data using a hash value, which is a number with predetermined lengths that serves as a unique data identifier and is calculated according to the plaintext length information. This approach is widely utilised to safeguard passwords across a variety of operating systems.

Uses of Cryptography in Cyber Security

Be it secure communication, data integrity, or privacy protection in the world of cyber security, cryptography can do it all.

Cryptography verifies the identity of both the sender and the receiver of the information. This can be done with key exchanges such as usernames, passwords, digital certificates, and biometrics. All these mechanisms authenticate all the parties involved. It also can be used to access and retrieve data in a reliable manner.

Examples of Cryptography

One of the most fundamental aspects of cryptography is encryption. Symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms like advanced encryption standard (AES), Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman (RSA), and data encryption standard (DES) are used to protect sensitive information.

Cryptographic hash functions can make hashes from input data. This makes them useful for data integrity. They can also be used for secure sockets layer (SSL) and transport layer security (TLS) protocols.

Apart from these, public key infrastructure (PKI) handles digital certificates and public-private key pairs for secure communication. Other examples include virtual private networks (VPNs) that use cryptographic tunnelling protocols like IPSec to create secure and encrypted connections over public networks.

Messaging apps such as WhatsApp use end-to-end encryption to protect user conversations. Furthermore, blockchain technology also uses cryptographic techniques to secure their blockchain networks.


In the cyber space, cryptography provides a foundation for secure digital interactions across parties worldwide. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking over the world, cyber threats are on the rise. Various types of cyber crimes pose a potential risk to individuals, businesses, and organisations. Hence, cyber insurance is an important part of mitigating the financial impact of cybercrimes. This would provide insurance coverage for losses and expenses incurred due to data breaches, cyber extortion, and other malicious activities in the cyber world. Therefore, it is obvious that the importance of cyber insurance cannot be ignored in our constantly evolving technology.


Why is cryptography important in cyber security?

Cryptography in cyber security is important because it protects sensitive data during transmission and storage. This assures secrecy, data integrity, and authenticity. It also protects your data from illegal access and impersonation. This strengthens the digital security of our country.

What are the different cryptographic techniques used in cyber security?

Cryptographic techniques are commonly used in cyber security in forms such as encryption, digital signatures, hash functions, and public key infrastructure (PKI). These methods are critical for protecting communications, ensuring data integrity, and authenticating the identities of all communicating parties.

How can we benefit from cryptography?

Cryptography not only protects data privacy and integrity, but it also improves data availability. This allows authorised users to access systems and retrieve data in a reliable and timely way. It also ensures non-repudiation by holding senders and receivers responsible for the communications they exchange. This forbids the denial of the origin of the message or the receipt.

Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.

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