Cryptography is the art of securing or encrypting information into an unreadable format. Due to increase in the information society, cryptography has become popular as it provides security. The prefix ‘crypt’ means undisclosed and the suffix ‘graph’ stands for writing. Cryptography mainly focuses on ensuring secrecy to people’s data in this modern era of cryptocurrencies. The need for cryptography was forced by individual and company interest to secure their wireless communications.
Modern cryptography mainly focuses on securing communication data. Its main objective is to protect information or data by using computers. Therefore, its foundation primarily focuses on mathematical concepts such as prime number factorization, discrete logarithms and number theories.
Types of cryptography
There are three main techniques of cryptography, i.e., symmetric-key cryptography, hash functions, and public key cryptography.
• Symmetric key cryptography uses algorithms to construct a fixed length of bits which are known as a block cipher. Moreover, the block cipher consists of a secret key that the sender uses to encipher information. On the other side, the receiver uses the same key to decrypt the data and recover the plain text.
• Hash Function: The type of algorithm does not include the use of keys. Unlike symmetric/asymmetric encryption, the hashing function is a one-way function. A rigid length value is computerized as per the plain text. Hash makes it hard for the contents of the information to be recovered. Harsh function keys are also used by many operating systems to encrypt passwords.
• Public key cryptography uses a public key associated with the sender for encrypting messages and a private key that only the creator knows. The public key also focuses on two primary functions that are the authentification and encrypting of the public key.
Why is cryptography important?
The main objective of using cryptography is to provide fundamental information security services. Therefore, in cybersecurity securing of data is of great concern. Consequently, one should consider essential factors such as data integrity, data confidentiality, data authentication, and data non-repudiation.
1) Data Integrity
It is a security measure that mainly focuses on identifying and securing of data. In other words, data integrity secures information from malicious actors. Information may be tampered with by an unauthorized individual accidentally or intentionally, therefore, data integrity ensures that the data is received 100% without any alteration. In other words, integrity service confirms whether that information is not altered since it was transmitted by an authorized user.
Confidentiality is securing the transmitted data from passive attacks. Therefore, it is a fundamental security service that provides privacy of information from unauthorized individuals. The primary aspect of confidentiality is the securing of traffic movement from the analysis of data. Therefore, an unlicensed individual cannot observe the destination and source or the characteristics of the traffic on a communication facility.
Authentication provides the identification of the discoverer. In other words, the sender and receiver can verify the origin of the information. More so, it also provides entity authentication which specifies a detailed analysis of where that data originates.
It is a security service that ensures the creator of the data cannot deny a previous commitment or an action. It gives assurance that the real originator cannot deny the transmission or creation of the said data to the receiver. Non- repudiation security service is efficient to use where there are chances of misunderstanding over the exchange of data.
How cryptography works in cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency use cryptography to control the creation of additional units, secure transactions and to verify the transfer of assets. Cryptocurrencies rely on public key cryptocurrency to accomplish the above. Public key cryptocurrency consists of an individual having both a public and a private key. The public keys consist of encrypted and randomly selected numbers and letters. In other words, the letters or numbers can be around 30 characters long. The purpose of the public key figure is to give people an address and where to send their money. In this way, only the receiver who knows the private key can assess the public key.
So in the global era of cryptocurrencies, it is as if everyone has their mailbox. This permit individuals to access and receive money without any unauthorized person accessing the money.
Disadvantages of the public key cryptography.
The most significant vulnerability that public key cryptography face is people who share their key to other people or people who accidentally lose their keys. Private keys are difficult to recover therefore many people tend to lose their funds. Thus if anyone accidentally accesses private key information, that person automatically can access the account and steal all of the bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies that are in that person’s wallet.
How might cryptography change in the future?
Technology seems to be improving every day. It is vital to say someone can invent a more advanced system better than cryptography. If this happens, many cryptocurrencies will probably upgrade to secure the new developments. Therefore, new developments could make cryptocurrencies more secure.
However, cryptography is working well, and the cryptocurrency industry is rapidly growing. Primary cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and other have all seen incredible gains as adoption rates are exploding. The public key cryptography seems to be the strength of their growth. Therefore, it is vital to say bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies could seriously overtake the dollar or other fiat currencies.
As many people continue to use cryptocurrencies, a large number of people will see the relevance of public key cryptography. Therefore, cryptography provides security and privacy in cryptocurrency transactions as these two are of great concern.
More importantly, cryptocurrency technology is developing on a daily basis. Thus, there is a need to developed cryptography technology because there is a need to send, receive and store money securely on the internet.
Moreso, public key cryptography and cryptocurrencies are helping to improve digital money storage and use. It is possible to say that cryptocurrencies will continue to multiply over the next few years.