Cryptography is the study and practice of encoding data using transformation techniques so that it can only be decoded by specific users. In simpler words, it is a theory of secret writing. Practitioners of cryptography are known as cryptographers.

Cryptography is the technique of using mathematics, computer science and engineering to encrypt and decrypt information. It facilitates a user to store vital information or send it across insecure networks (like the Internet) so that it cannot be interpreted by any user except the intentional receiver. While cryptography is the technique of protecting information, cryptanalysis is the technique of analyzing and breaching protected communication. Traditional cryptanalysis engages a remarkable mixture of analytical reasoning, use of mathematical tools, and pattern discovery. Cryptanalysts are also known as attackers. Cryptology shelters both cryptography and cryptanalysis.

A cryptographic algorithm, or known as cipher, is a mathematical function used in the encryption and decryption method. A cryptographic algorithm functions by blending with a key to encrypt the plaintext. The plaintext can be encrypted in different ways with different keys. The security of ciphertext is completely dependent on two things: the power of the cryptographic algorithm and the confidentiality of the key. A cryptographic algorithm, all potential keys and all the protocols that make cryptography work formulate a cryptosystem.

Current cryptography methods overlap various subjects like mathematics, computer science, and engineering. ATM cards, computer passwords, and electronic commerce are few examples where cryptography is used.

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