As the alphabets are to the English Language, so is Cryptography to Blockchain and modern security. In the same vein, an internship in cryptography (or cryptography research) is an important foundation for building a successful career in cryptography.
Surprisingly, due to the fact that many people view it as extremely complex, only few people actually apply for cryptography internship jobs. Meanwhile, a cryptography internship job experience already qualifies you for lots of other related opportunities.
In this article, you will learn how Cryptography works. what Cryptography research is, what to look out for when applying for Cryptography Internship Jobs in 2023, and some Cryptography Internship jobs that you can apply to. Enjoy!
Who Is a Cryptography Intern?
Apparently, a Cryptography intern has only just started their journey to becoming a Cryptographer. S/he is learning the ropes of data security, encryption and decryption, algorithms and more.
A Cryptography intern likely works in a Blockchain security or data security-inclined organization. There, s/he gets exposure to projects with which to practice. These projects are either mock or real ones. Overall, they allow room for the interns to exercise their skills while learning better on the job.
How Does Cryptography Work?
Typically, the first question that comes to the minds of most first-timers is ‘What is Cryptography?’
In simple terms, It is the process of converting messages recorded in simple everyday text into complex, hard-to-decipher languages. The innovation is used in Cyber Security, Software Engineering, Operation Management Systems and even communication systems.
In order to understand how Cryptography works, let us glance at the history of the concept.
The term itself comes from the Greek word Kryptos. Kryptos means ‘hidden.’ Cryptography also involves hiding messages in graphics or images using ancient techniques like merging or micro dotting. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used these methods to communicate.
Also, Cryptography has a lot to do with encryption and decryption. Encryption is converting normal text into a special form called ‘ciphertext.’ Decryption, on the other hand, is doing the exact opposite – converting ciphertext to normal text.
Firstly, cryptography ensures the integrity of information. Secondly. it prevents breach of processes. Third, it protects privacy because it can be used to check who is using a system.
If you are looking to build a career in Cryptography, read this article titled how to become a cryptographer in 2023.
Types of Cryptography
Generally, there are 4 common Cryptography techniques.
1. Asymmetric and Public Key Systems
Most Cryptographers sing the praises of this technique. Basically, the sender and receiver have two corresponding keys. One key is private while the other is public. The sender sends data to the receiver, using the public key of the receiver.
When the message arrives, the receiver can only decode it with their private key. Thus, the message is left uncompromised.
2. Symmetrical or Private Key System
In this system, both the sender and receiver communicate through one private key. First, the sender forwards a message in simple text to the receiver, through this key. Then the key converts the simple text to encrypted text (ciphertext). Lastly, the receiver gets the encrypted text and uses the same key to decrypt it back to simple text.
3. The Hash Function Technique
In this system, an algorithm converts data in plain text into an enciphered form called a hash value or simply a hash. Initially, data in plain text could be any size. However, the hash compacts the enciphered (or converted) form into a fixed value with a definite size. The new enciphered text is stored and used as a verification code for anyone who attempts to access the data.
Subsequently, we will look better at the meaning of keys as used above. We will also look at other important features of Cryptography. In the mean time, let us consider why Cryptography is important.
Why Is Cryptography Important?
In summary, security, integrity and confidentiality are the reasons why Cryptography is important.
For instance, you probably have an account with a social network.
At the sign-up stage, you gave certain information about yourself. Where you live, your age and more. Imagine for a minute that the database of any of those networks gets hacked. Your information becomes public knowledge. There goes your right to privacy and the platform’s brand image.
Most modern digital businesses use Cryptography to strengthen their security systems. Using a weak system to pass information around increases the risk of interception or alteration of such information.
For larger organizations, even a little leak of sensitive data can threaten to their existence. Whether they are financial institutions or betting sites, these organizations need security. Especially so, seeing the number of competitors and mischievous characters out there.
Cryptography protects against these. It helps to enclose information in special, unreadable language, making it impossible to access and weaponize it.
Common Elements of Cryptography
Here are some features that make cryptography compromise-proof.
A cryptographic key is a piece of information used in an algorithm, to access or prevent access to data. Usually a thread of random letters or numbers, keys function like verification codes, providing access to otherwise inaccessible information.
A key can work in two ways. It turns data into encrypted formats, or it returns data to its unencrypted format. You can usually tell how difficult it will be to encrypt data by how long a string of keys is.
Generally, algorithms are sets of mathematical rules that are followed to solve a particular problem. A Cryptographic algorithm, therefore, is a set of rules and procedures that processes data inputs and converts them to a different output.
Algorithms are the engine of encryption and decryption, authentication and digital signing. Here are 4 of the most popular cryptographic algorithm systems in use:
- Data Encryption Standard Algorithm
The DES became popular in the 1970s to the 1980s. It is considered an archaic standard today, as it processes only 56 bits of data per time. Of all three systems, it is the most vulnerable to attacks from hackers.
- The Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES)
As the name implies, this system processes 3 different sets of 56-bit-sized data. It is considered safer than the DES system. However, it has become less safe as hacking systems get more advanced.
- The Advanced Encryption System (AES)
This system is considered the strongest encryption system. It works excellently in 128-bit data form. Presently, it is the adopted and recommended algorithm system by the United States of America.
- The RSA Encryption Algorithm
RSA is short for Rivest, Shamir and Adleman. Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman developed the algorithm system in the late 1970s. RSA systems use logarithmic functions to generate keys. Next, the keys process the data into encrypted formats. The same keys are used to decrypt the data into plain text.
Blowfish, Twofish, International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA), Message Digest Algorithm (MD5) and Hash-Based Message Authentication Code (HMAC) are some other examples of encryption algorithms cryptographers use.
3. Cryptographic Libraries
The cryptographic library (or cryptlib) is just like the conventional library. Only that it contains algorithms. Cryptographers choose suitable algorithms, with which they secure the data transfer processes.
4. Digital or Identity Certificate
Also called a public key certificate. It is a programmed document used to ensure the authenticity of a public key. Cryptographic certificate organizations provide these certificates to their users.
The issuing organizations sign and encrypt the certificates. They then allow users to share their public keys with the intended receivers of data. Receivers can confirm that they have interacted with the right user by checking the digital signature of the user.
What Is Cryptography Research?
As newer technology, business and communication models emerge, tighter security becomes necessary. Like it is in any other field, innovation is important to the improvement of cryptographic technology.
Cryptography research is the process of studying current innovations in cryptography, finding their limitations, and proposing newer methods and innovations for cryptography and online security.
Cryptography research is the driving force of innovation in Cryptography. Obviously, Cryptography has become relevant to almost all aspects of human interaction and communication. This means there is a need for constant research, to meet rising trends in systems technology.
A Cryptography researcher may not necessarily be a Cryptographer. This means they (researchers) do not do the encryption, decryption and creation of codes. Instead, the researcher is more concerned with studying and developing theories, frameworks and algorithms that translate to or improve the codes that the Cryptographer uses. In short, their work forms the foundation for the Cryptographer’s work.
Since they serve about the same purpose, Cryptography Researchers are sometimes called Cryptologists.
Cryptography Research Jobs
As has been noted, Cryptography researchers may not necessarily be Cryptographers. Regardless, this does not mean they cannot work in positions that require them to do the job of Cryptographers. The knowledge gained from their research work in the field gives them the advantage of versatility. If you are a researcher, you can work as a:
- Software Security Engineering Researcher
- Hardware security Engineering Researcher
- Technical Programme Manager
- Research engineer
- Quantitative Researcher or Data Scientist
- Blockchain Architecture Researcher
You might be interested in this too: Career opportunities in Blockchain Technology
Here are 11 cryptography research vacancies you can apply for.
- Senior Quantitative Alpha Researcher – Cryptocurrency Trading at GSR
- Cryptography Research Engineer at Adeco
- Bilingual Technical Programme Manager at Discreet Labs by Findora Foundation
- Rust Cryptography Engineer for Lurk by Protocol Labs
- Lead Security Engineer and Researcher at Circle
- Staff Blockchain Security Engineer, Cryptography Researcher at Coinbase
- Crypto Researcher at Sheesha Finance
- Offensive Hardware Security Researcher at NVIDIA
- Blockchain Researcher at Convex Labs
- Blockchain Cryptography Dev Researcher at Binance
Usually, most beginners in Cryptography are actively searching for how to get Cryptography Internship jobs in 2023.
If you are looking for internship jobs in Cryptography, you must bear in mind that not every opportunity you apply to will bear the tag ‘Cryptography’. The concept itself is sometimes practiced as a subset of a broader field. Cryptography cuts across other fields such as Cyber security, Blockchain technology, Software Engineering and Systems Engineering and Analysis.
Therefore, do not be unwilling to apply to internship opportunities in these fields, as long as you will gain relevant experience in Cryptography.
To be sure, study the job description of your potential Cryptography internship job. Also. you can ask your potential employer about how much Cryptography is related to the work you will do.
You should consider these Cryptography internship jobs in 2023.
- Research Intern, Privacy and Cryptography at Microsoft
- Cyber security and Software Engineering Internship at John Hopkins APL
- Cyber Trust and Analytics Intern at Batelle
- Research Software Engineer-Security and Privacy at IBM
- Security Engineer Internship at Amazon
To sum up, cryptography internship jobs are a great way to fast-track your career in Cryptography. They offer opportunities for you to learn on the job in real-time. Apply for them, get them, and take maximum advantage of the exposure you get.
FAQs on internship in cryptography
What are the top cities with open Cryptography Engineer Internship jobs?
Cryptography researcher jobs can be found in most major cities within the United States. Some states where you are more likely to find your dream job are Boston in Massachusetts, Cambridge in Massachusetts, San Francisco in California, Houston in Texas, and, of course, New York.
What companies are hiring for Cryptography Engineer Internship jobs?
Why is cryptography important?
Cryptography is essential for modern data and system security. There is a continuous increase in tech and data-driven businesses, governments, and households. As a result, the need to pay attention to data security has increased. For now, cryptography is the surest tool that these establishments can use to enforce security.
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