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Cryptographic protocol

Cryptographic protocol

Cryptographic protocol definition

A cryptographic protocol is a type of protocol that performs many different types of security functions. The primary goal of cryptographic protocols is to enhance security and protect sensitive information during communication and data exchange. It uses cryptographic techniques to function, and some of them include techniques like symmetric and asymmetric key cryptography, hashing, and secret sharing.

Cryptographic protocols can be either abstract or concrete protocols, which, in turn, are also different types of protocols that computers and developers use. Typically, they are used to secure the communication between two devices.

For example, the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol is one of the most popular cryptographic protocols. Most reputable websites use it to protect credit card numbers and other personal information of their visitors.

Organizations and individuals can use a cryptographic protocol for different purposes. However, most of those purposes tend to be related to security and often include things like securing connections, transactions, and securing the migration of application-level data.

See also: cryptographic key, SSL encryption

Cryptographic protocol use cases

  • Key agreement: A cryptographic protocol that protects the data transferred between two people or machines.
  • Non-repudiation methods:here the data owner can’t prove ownership of the data in question, a cryptographic protocol is used to provide the required evidence.
  • Entity authentication: A cryptographic protocol is used to provide proper identification to a system.
  • Secret sharing: Secret sharing happens when a secret message is shared within a group, but no single user can access the secret message alone. Instead, the secret message is shown when the group combines a sufficient number of shares, which it can do with a cryptographic protocol.
  • Secure multi-party computation: A cryptographic protocol is used to allow multiple users to compute functions privately.
  • Symmetric encryption and authentication: People can use a cryptographic protocol to encrypt a message with one symmetric key so that it can’t be decrypted with another symmetric key.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security