Applied cryptography is the practice of using cryptographic techniques and protocols to protect information and keep communication safe. It involves putting in place and using different cryptographic algorithms and protocols to protect sensitive data like financial transactions, personal information, and private communications.
There are several subfields in the field of applied cryptography, such as:
In symmetric-key cryptography, data is encrypted and decrypted using the same secret key. AES and DES are both examples of symmetric key algorithms.
Public-key cryptography uses public and private keys for encryption and decryption. RSA and Elliptic Curve Cryptography are two examples of public-key algorithms (ECC)
Hash functions are mathematical functions that take a message as input and return a string of characters with a fixed length. This string of characters is called the hash value. Digital signatures, authenticating messages, and other security-related tasks use hash functions.
Digital signatures ensure that a message, file, or other digital document is genuine and hasn’t been tampered with. They can also prove that a deal can’t be changed.
Authentication ensures that a user or device is who they say they are. It is often used in systems for controlling access and managing identities.
Network security means using encryption, firewalls, and other security measures to protect networks and the devices and systems connected to them.
In short, Applied Cryptography is a field of study focusing on the design, implementation, and analysis of cryptographic methods and protocols. This field aims to provide secure communication and protect sensitive information from being accessed or changed by people who shouldn’t be able to.
What kinds of jobs can you get if you study applied cryptography?
Those who have studied applied cryptography can get a lot of different kinds of jobs. Here are just a few:
A cryptographer is a person who designs and builds cryptographic systems and algorithms and looks at how safe they are. They might work on developing, developing, and evaluating cryptographic techniques. They might also help make and use standards for cryptography.
Information Security Analysts keep an organization’s information systems and data safe from people who don’t have permission to access, use, share, disrupt, change, or destroy them. They might protect networks and systems with encryption, firewalls, and other security measures.
Cybersecurity engineers create and implement security solutions to protect an organization’s information systems and data. They might work on projects like building secure networks, putting in place encryption, and making systems to find and stop intrusions.
Network Security Engineers work to keep networks safe from attacks and access by people who shouldn’t be there. They may use encryption, firewalls, and other security measures to protect networks and systems. They may also watch networks for security breaches and respond to security incidents.
Penetration testers simulate cyber-attacks on a company’s network and systems to find where hackers could get in. They use their knowledge of encryption, firewalls, and other security measures to find and exploit weaknesses in a controlled environment. They then report their findings to management so that they can be fixed.
As a Digital Forensics Examiner, you use your knowledge of encryption and other security measures to look at digital evidence to help solve crimes. They may collect and analyze digital data from computers, mobile devices, and other digital devices to find evidence of criminal activity.
Compliance Officer: These people ensure that an organization follows all laws and rules about data privacy and information security. They may create and implement security policies and procedures and ensure that the organization’s security measures meet legal and regulatory requirements.
These are just a few jobs people who have studied applied cryptography can get. The field is constantly changing, and new roles and responsibilities keep coming up. Also, these jobs can be found in many areas, like finance, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, transportation, and many others.
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