Cryptography Basics in Security+ Certification Tests

Binary codes forming a keyhole

The CompTIA Security+ certification examination covers six domains, one of which is cryptography. Cryptography is one of the most vital privacy controls security professionals use. It effectively safeguards sensitive information against unauthorized revelations, and plenty of other security functions are significantly dependent on it to work properly. Fprthose who want to understand cryptography, CompTIA Security+ practice tests help you prepare for the exam.

What Exactly is Cryptography?

Cryptography involves utilizing mathematical algorithms for transforming information into something that unauthorized people can’t read. However, it also provides authorized people the ability to convert the encrypted information back to its readable form. For these functions, cryptography relies on two essential operations, encryption and decryption.

Encryption is for converting information from plain text into cipher text (unreadable form), and decryption is for converting cipher text back into plain text.

Algorithms used for encryption have two inputs, P for plain text information and K for the key to encryption. These go through a process that converts the plain text with the use of the key. This conversion process then results in one algorithm with one output, C for cipher text.

Decryption also has two inputs, the decryption key and the cipher text message. They go through a reverse process that would change the cipher text back into its original plain text format with the use of the decryption key, returning the converted message as the output.

Security experts utilize cryptography for different purposes. One, to provide confidentiality and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. Next is integrity, to safeguard information from unauthorized alterations. Cryptography is also utilized for authentication since plenty of systems that implement user verification techniques rely on encryption, and lastly, for non-repudiation. This means that the information’s recipient could prove that the alleged sender did send the information.

In Summary

Cryptography is essentially a collection of algorithms used for safeguarding information. With it, you could convert written text and other message types to be unintelligible (encryption) to users who don’t have the specific key used for unlocking and converting the message back to its readable form (decryption). Keep these in mind when studying for your Security+ practice test and brush up on the topic when studying for the certification examination.