Cryptography: Its Characteristics, Types, And Application

The act of secret coding has been existing in the world for a long time, especially with the military, which uses some private communication pipelines to restrict the access of the masses from some “classified piece of information”.

Just as hidden languages are becoming obsolete, there is an evolution surrounding them lately. This concept is synonymous with cryptography, which is the process of studying secret communications in the trance of ensuring the information becomes inaccessible to a malicious third party.

Applied in different fields of endeavor, information is hidden by cryptography, with the use of encryption in a coded language that is foreign to easy accessibility of malicious third parties. So it simply keeps data safe and secure from an unauthorized user.

Characteristics Of Cryptography

1. Data Privacy

Major information (data) is kept private and restricted when it has been collected from the sender and receiver. Due to the growing rate of data privacy issues surrounding data compromise, information is now a harmful element that can be used to perpetrate sinister crimes.

Therefore, cryptography comes to play here, as it ensures data privacy that is devoid of a third party. It only involves the sender and receiver in the communication channel.

2. Unobstructed Communication Channel

As earlier stated about a cryptographic channel not supporting malicious access, the communication channel is only opened to both the sender and receiver of the message. This is why the communication channel is unobstructed by a third party’s verification portal.

3. Authentication

Communication is a two-way flow, and as such, authentic identities and the addresses of both sender and receiver must be known. Cryptography works on this and makes authentication a priority.

4. Protection Against Alterations

Cryptography does not only serve the purpose of data privacy, it also ensures strong protection against data alteration. A data is vulnerable to data alteration if the communication channel is not secured. But with the cryptographic communication channel, only the sender and receiver can alter the information they exchanged.

Types Of Cryptography

1. Symmetric-Key Cryptography

Symmetric key cryptography is an encryption technique in a single key that has the dual use of data encryption and decryption. This cryptography key can be easily exchanged between the sender and the receiver. The most popular this type of cryptography is Data Encryption System (DES).

2. Asymmetric-Key Cryptography

In asymmetric key cryptography, the encryption technique is operated upon by two different keys that are used to encrypt and decrypt data. The exchange of these keys can pose some difficulties as the data can be accessed with two different keys.

3. Hash Function

Hash function cryptography uses random input values and gives a fixed output value that would be used to verify the identity of the user in restoring private data. This is considered the most secure cryptography to use because of its hash algorithms and complex mechanism.

Applications Of Cryptography

1. Cryptocurrency

The major highlight of the application of cryptography is in cryptocurrency as crypto assets are traded over the internet. As cashless economies are emerging, there is a steady shift of financial focal points on digital currencies. With their decentralized feature that is devoid of government and bank regulations, it is then safe to say cryptocurrency is the future.

Moreover, blockchain technology has so much to leverage upon with cryptography that allows a cryptocurrency to be securely traded in a digital ledger (blockchain) system. The blockchain is enhanced with strong protection that makes it inaccessible to any person or organization.

2. Military Operations

The application of cryptography has been with the military for a very long time. Cryptography has been used to get military communication channels encrypted. This is achieved by the conversion of real communication characters by the special military encryption devices to prevent enemies from getting aware of their strategic plans.

Using cryptography, there is a safe end-to-end transmission of messages that are free of interception by enemy forces. However, it serves both private and public purposes.

3. E-commerce

The online shopping experience has been on a great increase due to the novel pandemic that has forced my physical stores to close, hence boosting e-commerce. It is now a new norm for people to shop for items over the internet and has inspired many e-commerce startups to spring up. But as these items are shopped and paid for over the internet, the transactions have to be encrypted from any form alterations by third parties.

Cryptography is used here to protect the passwords set, such that they would become inaccessible to hackers who want to steal your e-commerce details.


Cryptography’s real-world applications cannot be done away with. With the steady development of a virtual world, the thorough use of cryptography in many fields cannot be undermined. But let’s not forget that it can also be used for malicious purposes, perhaps the future will determine if the benefits of cryptography would outlive its dangerous purposes.

Related Articles