Encryption vs Cryptography: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Encryption is a fundamental technique in the realm of cyber-security and data protection.
  2. Cryptography is the science and art of securing information by transforming it into an unreadable format.
  3. The primary purpose of encryption is to ensure confidentiality by making data indecipherable to unauthorized parties, while cryptography serves multiple purposes, including integrity, authentication and non-repudiation.

What is Encryption?

Encryption is a fundamental technique in the realm of cyber-security and data protection. It involves converting plain, readable text or data into an unreadable format called ciphertext using algorithms and keys. This transformation ensures only authorized parties can decipher and access the original information.

There are two primary types of encryption- symmetric and asymmetric. The importance of encryption cannot be overstated. It safeguards sensitive information during transmission and storage, such as personal data, financial records and government communications. It is also crucial to secure communication protocols like HTTPS, which protects online transactions and browsing.

What is Cryptography?

Cryptography is the science and art of securing information by transforming it into an unreadable format, and it forms the foundation of encryption. Its history dates back to a thousand years, with the earliest forms used by ancient civilizations to protect secrets. Today, cryptography encompasses a wide range of techniques and technologies that go beyond mere encryption.

One of the fundamental aspects of cryptography is using algorithms and keys to perform encryption and decryption. Cryptographic algorithms define how data is transformed, while keys act as the secret ingredient that controls the transformation process.

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It serves several vital purposes. It provides confidentiality by concealing the content of messages from unauthorized modifications to the data. It also offers authentication, allowing parties to verify each other’s identities.

Difference Between Encryption and Cryptography

  1. Encryption is a specific process that involves converting plain text or data into an unreadable format using algorithms and keys to protect it from unauthorized access during transmission or storage. At the same time, cryptography is the broader science and practice of securing information through various techniques and secure protocols.
  2. The primary purpose of encryption is to ensure confidentiality by making data indecipherable to unauthorized parties, while cryptography serves multiple purposes, including integrity, authentication and non-repudiation.
  3. Encryption is primarily applied to protect the confidentiality of data, such as securing messages, files, or communication channels. At the same time, cryptography has a broader range of applications, including data integrity, user authentication and securing communication protocols.
  4. Encryption is accessible to a wide range of users and organizations. It is commonly used for securing communications and data. At the same time, cryptography, especially at an advanced level, may require specialized knowledge and expertise in mathematics and computer science, limiting its accessibility to experts in the field.
  5. Encryption consists of algorithms and keys for the sole purpose of making data secret. At the same time, cryptography encompasses algorithms, keys, protocols and methods to achieve various security objectives, making it a more comprehensive field.

Comparison Between Encryption and Cryptography

ParametersEncryptionCryptography
DefinitionA specific process that involves converting data into unreadable formatThe broader science of securing information through various techniques
PurposeEnsure confidentiality by making data indecipherableIt serves multiple purposes like integrity, authentication and non-reputation
ApplicationTo protect the confidentiality of data by securing messages, files, communication channelsIt has a broader range of applications, including data integrity and user identification.
AccessibilityAccessible to a wide range of users and organizationsLimited accessibility to experts in the field
ComponentsAlgorithms and keys for the sole purpose of making data secretEncompasses algorithms, keys and protocols to achieve security objective
References
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8757514/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877050915013782
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Last Updated : 27 February, 2024

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29 thoughts on “Encryption vs Cryptography: Difference and Comparison”

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