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Cryptography Fundamentals: Defining Cryptography

Target Audience
Expected Duration
Lesson Objectives
Course Number

Cryptography, and understanding its limits and pitfalls, is essential to protecting data. In this course, you will learn about how cryptography can be used to protect and secure data, different methods that exist to protect or transmit data securely, and the components that need to be understood to ensure data can be protected properly.

Target Audience
System administrators, database administrators, security professionals, software developers, and anyone who has to work with compliancy or regulations that require data protection.


Expected Duration (hours)

Lesson Objectives

Cryptography Fundamentals: Defining Cryptography

  • start the course
  • describe and identify the reasons for having and using cryptography
  • recognize historical uses of cryptography and their relevance to cryptography today
  • use and identify basic cryptographic terminology
  • describe why cryptography is difficult to get right and how poor cryptography can give you a false sense of security
  • identify the different types of cryptography and how cryptographic algorithms can be verified and validated
  • describe basic export controls and limits that can be imposed on cryptography used around the world
  • describe how cryptography can keep data confidential and within limits
  • describe why data integrity is an integral part of cryptography
  • define how cryptography can provide a means to authenticate an entity
  • describe how cryptography can be used to prove, with high certainty, that an action or statement is associated with an entity
  • describe how OTP, or one-time pad, cryptography can theoretically provide perfect secrecy but has some significant limitations
  • describe and use a substitution cipher and understand the weaknesses that can be exploited by an attacker against these ciphers
  • describe and identify the features and use cases for symmetric-key cipher algorithms
  • describe and identify the features and use cases for asymmetric-key cipher algorithms
  • describe the use of steganography in encryption products to hide the fact data is even encrypted
  • describe the purpose of cryptographic hash functions and how they can be used in cryptography to provide data integrity
  • describe a digital signature and how it can be used for authentication and non-repudiation
  • recognize the difference between blocks and key sizes as they apply to cipher algorithms
  • describe and perform padding operations to data for block ciphers
  • describe how to encode encrypted data for easier storage or transport
  • describe the purpose of an initialization vector for a cipher algorithm and how nonces can be used to protect small datasets
  • describe how entropy is used in generating random numbers and how that entropy is critical to the strength of a cryptographic key
  • describe the creating, or generating, of keys and how the key strength is critical to cryptographic ciphers
  • identify the cryptographic algorithm to use
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