Cryptography means the science of writing or solving codes.
The concept has taken on new value in the digital age, in which cryptographers use the techniques to secure computer systems and digital communications.
This includes both stored data and data travelling across communication channels.
As well as obscuring the content of messages from unintended audiences, cryptography aims to ensure that the information is not altered and that the identities of both parties can be confirmed to the other.
Since no communication channel is perfect, using cryptographic techniques can be necessary to protect information from adversaries.
While it is a key part of advanced cyber security practices, cryptography is used regularly in day-to-day life, such as when paying with credit cards.
Though the terms are related, cryptography differs from encryption. Cryptography more refers to the science of secret codes whereas encryption is an actual cryptographic process. Encryption essentially means scrambling data using an algorithm so that only somebody with a secret key can access it.