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Difference Between Encryption and Cryptography

Cryptography is the science of concealing messages using secret codes. It is made of two parts: cryptography consists of the techniques of creating systems of hiding messages and cryptanalysis consists of the techniques to break them. Over the past thousands of years, cryptography has been used to hide messages for secure communication. The objective of cryptography is to provide methods to protect information and secure communications through encryption and related techniques. Encryption is a fundamental application of cryptography which encodes a message with an algorithm. Encryption uses an algorithm to encrypt the data and a secret key to decrypt it. So, cryptography is the study of concepts like encryption, whereas encryption is a technique used to conceal messages using algorithms.

What is Cryptography?

Cryptography is the art and science of protecting information and communications using secret codes so that it can be read or understood by the intended recipient only. Cryptography is the practice of securing information by transforming it into a secured format for transmission across insecure networks. Assume a sender wants to send a confidential message or information to a receiver. The message could be easily intercepted if sent through an insecure communication channel – let’s say a computer network or a telephone line. So, the objective of cryptography is to provide methods to protect the message from falling into the wrong hands or potential adversaries. The message to be transmitted can be some text, numerical data, or just any kind of information which may contain confidential information which needs to be protected. So, cryptography provides methods of protecting data through encryption and related processes.

What is Encryption?

Encryption is the principle application of cryptography which makes data incomprehensible to ensure its confidentiality. Encryption is the practice of concealing data or information in such a way that it appears random and can be accessed by authorized parties only while unauthorized users cannot access it. It is the process of translating a message (referred to as plaintext) into an encrypted message (referred to as ciphertext). So, encryption turns a plaintext into a ciphertext and decryption turns a ciphertext back into a plaintext. Decryption requires a secret decryption key. Depending on the method, the key can be a password, a secret number, or just a sequence of bits. Encryption basically uses an algorithm to encrypt the data and a secret key to decrypt it. There are many types of algorithms used for encryption which involve different ways of encoding and decoding information. The Enigma is one of the best examples of encryption of all time.

Difference between Encryption and Cryptography

Basics 

– Cryptography is the practice of securing information by transforming it into a secured format for transmission across insecure networks. It is the art of creating codes using the techniques of encryption and decryption. It is the study of concepts like encryption and decryption. Encryption is the principle application of cryptography makes data incomprehensible to ensure its confidentiality. Encryption is a process of encoding a message using an algorithm and a key. It basically uses an algorithm to encrypt the data and a secret key to decrypt it.

Objective

 – The fundamental objective of cryptography is to provide confidentiality by encryption methods. It protects information and communications using secret codes so that it can be read or understood by the intended recipient only. It is the science concerned with methods of data protection through encryption and related techniques. Encryption, on the other hand, is a technique of cryptography that renders data unreadable to the unauthorized users. The purpose of encryption is to protect the confidentiality of data as it is transmitted over the Internet or stored on computers.

Applications

 – Prior to the modern age, cryptography was almost referred to as encryption and it has been used to conceal messages for thousands of years. Over time, the term cryptology has come to encompass encryption and decryption. Cryptography is widely used in electronic commerce, digital currencies, military communications, and chip-based card payments. Encryption is essential to modern data security, mainly digital signatures and to protect information stored on smartphones and other mobile devices. Encryption is used to protect sensitive electronic data, such as emails, files, folders and drives.

Encryption vs. Cryptography: Comparison Chart

Summary

Cryptography is the art of concealing messages which has been used for the last thousands of years. It is the science of data encryption. Broadly speaking, cryptography is the science of protecting information and communications using secret codes through encryption and related processes. Encryption is a technique to achieve cryptography which makes data incomprehensible to ensure its confidentiality. It is one of the subsets of cryptography that uses mathematical algorithms and a key to encode sensitive data or information and decode it. It uses an algorithm to encrypt the data and a secret key to decrypt it.

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References :


[0]Image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transient-key_cryptography#/media/File:Cross-Certification.png

[1]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Public_key_encryption.svg

[2]Delfs, Hans and Helmut Knebl. Introduction to Cryptography: Principles and Applications. Berlin, Germany: Springer, 2007. Print

[3]Schmeh, Klaus. Cryptography and Public Key Infrastructure on the Internet. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Print

[4]Aumasson, Jean-Philippe. Serious Cryptography: A Practical Introduction to Modern Encryption. San Francisco, California: No Starch Press, 2017. Print

[5]Cozzens, Margaret and Steven J. Miller. The Mathematics of Encryption. Providence, Rhode Island: American Mathematical Society, 2013. Print

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