Encryption and decryption
Encryption is the process of converting plaintext to encrypted text. Since encrypted text cannot be read by anyone, encrypted text hides the original data from unauthorized users. Decryption is the process of converting encrypted data to plaintext. Basically, it is the reverse of encryption. It is used to decrypt the encrypted data so that only an authorized user can access and read the data.
The process entailing encryption and decryption together is called cryptography.
Private and public keys in cryptography
A key is a bit valued string that is used to convert the plaintext into cipher text and vice-versa. A key can be a word, number or phrase. Cryptography makes use of public and private keys. A public key is issued publicly by the organization and it is used by the end user to encrypt the data.
The encrypted data, once received by the organization, is decrypted by using a private key and the data is converted to plaintext.
Cryptography uses symmetric and asymmetric encryption for encryption and decryption of data. If the sender and the recipient of the data use the same key to encrypt and decrypt the data, it’s called