Cryptography is the art and practice of writing and deciphering coded information known as ciphers. Cryptography is used for various purposes such as sending secure information, storing classified information, securing highly confidential data, checking for integrity of secret messages; for identity authentication of message senders and receivers; for creating digital signatures, for secure computation purposes etc.
In fact, Cryptography is a complex science which uses applications of various disciplines such as computer science, mathematics and engineering. Major branches of cryptography include Cryptographic engineering; Multivariate cryptography; Quantum cryptography; Steganography and Visual cryptography. Best examples of modern day commercial applications of cryptography are Digital signatures, Internet banking, ATM cards, E-commerce, Electronic voting and Digital marketing.
A person who is well trained and experienced in the field of Cryptography is called a Cryptographer. A cryptographer is responsible for various functions such as creating and using a coding method for data encryption and decryption, software authentication applications, software compression solutions, digital rights management and so on.
Cryptographers are largely employed by large software firms, criminal agencies, forensic departments, intelligence gathering agencies, law enforcement agencies, academic institutions etc. Various career positions available for them include cryptanalysts; cryptographic algorithm designers; cryptographic system designers; cryptographic engineers, digital rights professionals and university professors.
Cryptanalysts: Major career goal of cryptanalysts is to analyze the security of various cryptographic projects.
Cryptosystem designers: They are responsible for the development of complex algorithms, called cryptographic systems
Cryptographic engineers: They are responsible for the application of engineering principles in the field of Cryptography.
Digital rights professionals: Their major responsibility is to ensure the security of copyrighted digital materials.
Cryptography courses are offered by several IT institutes and universities. Cryptography education is imparted as a part of specialized information technology study programme. Candidates who are qualified as computer engineers or computer scientists are eligible for post graduate level courses offered by several academic institutions across the world.