Cryptography Fundamentals: Applying Cryptography

System administrators, database administrators, security professionals, software developers, and anyone who has to work with compliancy or regulations that require data protection


Expected Duration
105 minutes

Using cryptography is far more than just selecting an algorithm and calling the encrypt or decrypt method. In this course, you will learn about the modes of operation for encryption algorithms as well as when particular algorithms are best suited to the data being protected. You will also learn how to manage cryptographic keys and how cryptanalysis can be used against weak cryptographic systems (even when using strong algorithms).


Modes of Operation

  • start the course
  • describe and identify data that has been encrypted using the ECB mode
  • specify how Cipher Block Chaining uses an IV, or initialization vector, to make data appear random
  • describe how Propagating Cipher Block Chaining mode improved on CBC by causing small changes to each block encrypted
  • describe the Cipher Feedback mode and how it builds on CBC and makes a block cipher into a stream cipher
  • describe the Output Feedback mode and how it can use the same process for encryption and decryption
  • describe the Counter mode and how It can be used for parallelizing encryption and decryption

Cryptographic Algorithms

  • use a simple AES implementation to encrypt and decrypt data and compare the results to the NIST standard to confirm operation of the algorithm
  • describe how the DES and 3DES algorithms work to encrypt and decrypt data
  • describe the Blowfish block cipher algorithm and its properties
  • describe the RC4 streaming cipher and its properties
  • describe the ElGamal cipher algorithm and its usage
  • describe the RSA public-key encryption and its operation

Hash Algorithms

  • describe the deprecated MD5 and SHA1 algorithms and the newly chosen replacement, SHA3
  • apply and describe the operation of the SHA2 hashing algorithms
  • describe the Hash Message Authentication Code, or HMAC, and its use to authenticate and verify the integrity of a message

Cryptographic Keys

  • identify and describe basic key management policies and procedures
  • describe how to cryptographically exchange keys securely
  • identify the role and purpose of key escrow policies and procedures

Everyday Use of Encryption

  • identify web browser-based secure communications and the role of certificates and Certificate Authorities (CAs)
  • describe of use of SSL and TLS in security tools like the Secure Shell, or SSH
  • use GPG to encrypt and decrypt an e-mail message
  • describe how disk encryption works and the threats it can help protect against


  • identify the features and strengths of cryptographic algorithms and how to select an algorithm for a particular usage scenario
  • perform some basic cryptanalysis and describe methods to decrypt poorly encrypted data
  • identify external methods that can be used to compromise, or bypass, a cryptographic system

Practice: Applying Modes and Key Management

  • apply cryptographic modes and algorithms





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