Last Updated on December 3, 2023
In today’s fast-moving world two things are the most expensive. One is time and the other is data.
Time and data both are not physical. We cannot convert the time but data, we can.
And data protection is one of the most important things for many companies right now. Many companies use different techniques to protect their and their user’s data.
Steganography and cryptography are such techniques used for data protection and data privacy. If we look at the working of both techniques the performa similar task that is the protection of data during its handling and while transmission.
Now the big question is what is the difference between Steganography and Cryptography?
In simple terms cryptography is hiding the data and steganography is covering the data.
- It Involved covering of data
- Does not require any other algorithm for covering the data
- In this technique, Data can be sent to everyone
- This technique is generally used for secret communication
- Because of its open to everyone transmission, this technique is less popular
- Data integrity is not maintained in this technique
- This technique can we used with any form of data including images, text, video’s, audios
- It involves hiding of data
- Original form of data is changed
- It required the algorithm for converting the plain text into ciphertext
- In this technique, data is sent only to the intended person
- This technique is generally used for protection of data
- This technique is more popular and used by most of the companies to protect the data
- Data integrity is maintained in this technique
- This technique is generally used with text format.
Now let’s understand both the concept in detail.
It is a technique used to protect the data by covering the original data and/or information with some other data.
In steganography, the data used to cover the original data can be of any form. It can be images or videos or it can be a text also.
Let’s take an example to learn about steganography.
You are head of communication at your office and you found out somebody is been stealing the information form your company. You suspect one of your employees. Now you want to tell your boss about it.
But you cannot use the normal communication channel you are using as your employee can access those. And you cannot use any secret message technique because you don’t want that employee to know you suspect him.
Now, what will you do in this situation?
In this situation, you used the steganography technique. You create an image that has your message telling your boss the name of the employee stealing from your company and to get that message your boss has to read every third number in the dimension of each pixel which coincides with the alphabet.
In this way even though you send the message that is an image to everyone only your boss knew that the image concealed a message.
So the advantages of steganography are that even if data is sent to everyone only the intended person can read that data inside the data.
The different way data can be covered
It is the most primary and one of the early used steganography form.
This data which is to be sent is hidden in the text. For example, data can be hidden in the puzzle in this way everyone can see it and also solve it. But only the intended person can see it that some other data is hidden in it.
This steganography form came with the invention of computers and images.
As we all know every image is made up of pixels and every image contain thousands of pixel it is a great way of concealing a data.
Videos are nothing but a collection of images playing very fast. So videos become the ultimate steganography form as we can use every frame in the video to hide the data.
Audios have become one of the prominent ways of hiding the data because of its different pitches with up and down.
Cryptography is turning the data into secret data.
Unlike steganography in cryptography, we convert the data into some other data. Cryptography needed a medium to convert the data. The best example of cryptography is the Enigma machine used in World War 2.
Let’s understand the working f cryptography with example.
You are in the army and got the message that your enemy is planning on attacking your troops.
In this situation you cannot send a plain message to your troops about the attack as the enemy might be watching and reading your messages. And you cannot your steganography also as your troops cannot possibly know whether you send sending a secret message.
Here you have to use cryptography. Even though your enemy can see your communication they cannot understand it as both of you and your troops are using encoding messages to communicate.
Herewith the help of cryptography you can save your troop’s lives by informing them about the coming attack.
Types of cryptography techniques
Symmetric Key Cryptography
We can call this technique as one key cryptography also. In this technique, a common key is shared between the sender and receiver for encryption and decryption of the data.
Here when the sender sends any messages of data it gets encrypted with its cryptographic key. And when the receiver receives the data he uses his key to decrypt the data. Here both keys that are the ones belong to the sender and receiver are the same.
Asymmetric key cryptography
Here two keys are used for encryption and decryption. The public key is available to everyone and the private key which is with the owner only.
Asymmetric key cryptography is more secure than symmetric key cryptography as it takes two keys for encryption and decryption.
Both steganography and cryptography techniques are used for many years and will be going to use continuously. These techniques ensure the protection and authentication of the data.