# The Basic Elements Of A Cryptographic System Essay

When a message is encoded so it becomes unreadable while making sure only the intended receiver is capable of decoding it back into its original form is what we commonly known as Cryptography. It is done by means of an encryption and decryption algorithm (often the same implemented in reverse order) and very often using a secret key. Some of the early cryptographic systems kept the algorithm itself secret and did not use a key (Stallings, 2014).

Only when using a secret key one can convert cipher text back into a more familiar readable form. Another way to achieve this is by using computerized aid devices, which use mathematical formulas to change text from one form to another (Stallings, 2014).

The Basic Elements of a Cryptographic System:

For the most part practical cryptographic systems are comprised of two elements, an algorithm and a cryptographic key. An algorithm is a set of rules that mathematically break down the steps needed to either code or decode data (Stallings, 2014). A cryptographic key is a string of numbers or characters the algorithm uses to select one relationship between plaintext and cipher text out of the many possible relationships the algorithm provides. The selected relationship determines the composition of the algorithm 's result (Stallings, 2014).

Cryptographic algorithms can be classified into two groups symmetric and asymmetric. Symmetric encryption algorithms use the same key value in both the coding and decoding…