What is Cryptology and Cryptography?

With the development of technology, we collect and store a lot of our data in virtual platforms. So what are the methods that secures these data? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Cryptology and Cryptography?

Cryptology is the science of data encryption, which includes cryptography and cryptanalysis. Cryptography is a compound word consisting of “kryptos” and “graphein”, Greek words that mean “secret” and “writing”. It is mathematical techniques that make data unreadable for unwanted people. And cryptanalysis is encryption techniques.

Cryptography's history goes back many years. First cryptologist was an Egyptian scribe who lived 4000 years ago. Later the Spartans also used cryptography. Cryptography methods were actively used in World War II and changed the outcome of the war completely and showed the importance of encryption again.

An Islamic philosopher Al Kindi improved Julius Caesar’s Caesar cipher, which is an encryption system based on relocating the letters, and invented the frequency analysis.

Encryption Techniques

Encryption techniques are divided into branches. There are techniques that were used in the past and also there are modern techniques that we use today.

Classic Techniques

Substitution Technique:

This technique is converting data to something meaningless by replacing the letters and the symbols with different ones.

Transposition Technique:

This technique is encrypting data by changing the order of the letters in the text.

Modern Techniques

Symmetrical Encryption:

This technique is making the data encrypted and decrypted with a single private key.

Asymmetrical Encryption:

This technique is making the data encrypted and decrypted with one public key and one private key. Public keys can be shared with anyone but the private key is kept by only the person who did the encryption.

Cryptographic Hash Functions:

This technique is creating an output of a certain length unrelated to the size of the data. Every output is specific to the input data. And any change in the input causes the entire output to change.

Quantum Cryptography

We have mentioned many encryption techniques and their safety. Even though understanding and deciphering the techniques we mentioned above are hard, today there is still no technique that is impossible to decipher. And quantum cryptography will both make it easier to decipher the former techniques and make the encryptions safer. The main purpose of quantum computers is to make the key distribution protocol safer. With quantum computers the key transmission happens faster and makes it impossible for a third party to copy a key. Together we will see how the development of technology and quantum computers will make it safer to share information in the future.

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Nurbanu Hasanoğlu
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