Most people find it challenging to distinguish between cybersecurity and cryptography, especially since both are systems designed to deal with cybercrime. It is vital to understand and differentiate both terms according to their role in technology. We delve into both worlds to give you a clear distinction between the two fields.
So, what is the difference between cybersecurity and cryptography? Cybersecurity refers to procedures implemented to secure networks, programs, and devices from unauthorized users. In contrast, cryptography refers to the encryption/decryption of coded language that only the sender and intended recipient can decipher. Both methods are vital to the safety of the users’ sensitive information.
The two terms can be unclear to most people as some are uncertain about which field is a subset of the other. We will differentiate and expound on these two fields to help you further understand and distinguish them.
Differences Between Cyber Security and Cryptography?
Cybersecurity and cryptography are separate entities but are still connected. Cybersecurity refers to keeping data secure, while cryptography is one method used to protect sensitive information. These two are similar in that aspect of data security.
However, cybersecurity and cryptography are two terms that one cannot use interchangeably. The following table highlights the differences between these two entities.
|It is a system used to encrypt/decrypt messages that cannot be deciphered by unauthorized users.
|It refers to various measures taken by organizations or experts to detect malicious activities in networks or devices.
|It is a mode of prevention where parties limit the access of information by unwanted parties. The code is specific and confidential.
|It is not always effective in curbing cybercrime since attackers can still bypass weak security systems.
|It is a tool used to enhance cybersecurity.
|It is an entire entity, making cryptography one of its subsets.
|Cryptography mitigates cybercrime by using an elaborate design to encrypt messages.
|Cybersecurity involves the implementation of specific procedures to keep data safe.
|It has a more personal approach to cybersecurity since the sender and the recipient know each other’s identity.
|Cybersecurity is not personal, since it directs most policies to users in general, making it vulnerable to leakages and infiltrations.
Experts argue that cryptography is a subset of cybersecurity; it is one of the methods that experts use to keep data safe. On the other hand, they say that the two are separate units where none contains the other. However, they are both vital to curbing cybercrime and cyberwarfare.
As cybersecurity involves risk management, policies, disaster planning, and access control, cryptography relies upon confidentiality, authentication, and data integrity. They are two separate fields that are equally essential in keeping systems safe.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Infiltrating another person’s network means that you can access his/her data and private files. Attackers use loopholes in systems to obtain sensitive information and use it for selfish gains, mostly for monetary reasons.
Cybersecurity is protecting the integrity of users’ personal information to prevent devices from external malicious attacks.
Importance of Cybersecurity
Extensive amounts of data are processed, stored, and transferred daily by individuals, firms, institutions, and governments. Any piece of information is sensitive to the concerned parties. If this data lands in the wrong hands, there are dire consequences.
Cybersecurity is a vital aspect of technology in matters of data integrity. Cybercrime is one major threat to national security; hence, users should be wary of such attacks. With the rise of technology experts, fraudsters who are experts in the field take advantage of their skill to commit cybercrimes by duping unsuspecting users. Implementing cybersecurity is one way to alleviate fraud and maintain data integrity.
Challenges of Cybersecurity
To effectively counter cybercrimes, the concerned should direct their efforts to the following areas of information systems. These areas are the most targeted by attackers.
1. Network Security
Networks are one of the most vulnerable systems infiltrated by hackers. They aim to access computers and other electronic devices to obtain private data.
2. Data Security
Massive amounts of information are transferred daily between parties. Hackers can intercept this data while it is in transit. Similarly, they can access data that is stored by firms and organizations.
3. Application Security
There are so many developers on the internet, each with unique applications for users. If not correctly designed to ensure data privacy, they can be loopholes for attackers to access information from devices.
4. Mobile Security
The most commonly used electronic devices are mobile phones and tablets. Most users use them to store vital information that attracts malicious attacks.
5. Cloud Security
Anyone who wants to preserve their information does it on the cloud. If this is not secure, data can easily land in the wrong hands.
As technology evolves, fraudsters are devising more advanced ways to attack systems. Efforts should be put in place to counter cyber warfare by organizations and even at a personal level.
What Is Cryptography?
The term “Cryptography” comes from “crypt” and “graphy,” meaning hidden” and “writing.” It refers to the use of secret language to encrypt or decrypt data. The sender and the recipient are the only parties that can decode this coded information. It is mainly for extra security to ensure that only the recipient can understand the message.
Cryptography deploys the use of scrambled or distorted symbols. They use images, numbers, letters, or microdots to make the message more complex. It becomes a challenge for another party to obtain the information unless they can decrypt the code.
Improved technology allows cryptographers to convert texts into ciphertexts that the recipient can convert back to clear texts. Encryption of data is one of the most effective ways to curb cybercrimes since unauthorized users cannot easily access the information.
Objectives of Cryptography
The science of cryptography revolves around the following objectives
The sender and the recipient know each other’s identity. They both know how to encrypt/ decrypt the message and are aware of the message’s intention.
The message remains safe during storage or transfer since no other user can access it. No other party can decipher the code or use the information.
Any unauthorized user cannot understand the content of the message. Cryptography maintains the privacy of the message.
The sender of the information has full responsibility for the message. He/she cannot claim not to have sent the encryption since it is in coded form.
These objectives are known as cryptosystems, and the best cryptography should meet these criteria. These systems are essential for computer networks and behavior. Users need to be careful when choosing passwords and login details to prevent other users from guessing the details and accessing their accounts.
Cybersecurity and cryptography ensure that our systems are safe; however, experts need to make the systems stronger not to be hacked easily by other users or destructive malware. Over the years, attackers have been able to penetrate even the most secure networks.
Millions of users worldwide use technology in their daily lives; therefore, they regularly store and transfer personal data. Not protecting devices and networks makes the systems vulnerable to fraud, leading to huge losses and increased cybercrime.
Cybersecurity is one of the remedies to alleviate cybercrime. If organizations deploy cryptography as one of the means of cybersecurity, the systems will be more secure.