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Domains of CISSP: Cryptography

The Cryptography domain addresses the principles, means, and methods of disguising information to ensure its integrity, confidentiality, and authenticity.


The candidate will be expected to know basic concepts within cryptography; public and private key algorithms in terms of their applications and uses; algorithm construction, key distribution and management, and methods of attack; and the applications, construction and use of digital signatures to provide authenticity of electronic transactions and non-repudiation of the parties involved.

Key Areas of Knowledge

  • Understand the application and use of cryptography
    • Data at rest (e.g., Hard Drive)
    • Data in transit (e.g., “On the wire”)
  • Understand encryption concepts
    • Foundational concepts
    • Symmetric cryptography
    • Asymmetric cryptography
    • Hybrid cryptography
    • Message digests
    • Hashing
  • Understand key management processes
    • Creation/distribution
    • Storage/destruction
    • Recovery
    • Key escrow
  • Understand digital signatures
  • Understand non-repudiation
  • Understand methods of cryptanalytic attacks
    • Chosen plain-text
    • Social engineering for key discovery
    • Brute force
    • Cipher-text only
    • Known plaintext
    • Frequency analysis
    • Chosen cipher-text
    • Implementation attacks
  • Employ cryptography in network security
  • Use cryptography to maintain e-mail security
  • Understand Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
  • Understand certificate related issues
  • Understand information hiding alternatives (e.g., steganography, watermarking)

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