A Cryptographer is responsible for developing security systems using algorithms and cyphers to encrypt sensitive data. A related job role, that of Cryptanalyst, is like the flip side of the same coin. They analyse and decrypt information contained within cipher texts and encrypted data.
The role of cryptographer is vitally important as they must ensure that all of the modern worlds important data, including financial, personal, business and military, is safe from prying eyes. With the continually increasing incidences of cyber crime being encountered nowadays around the globe, this job is fast becoming an ever more important role in the race to beat the criminals!
Typical duties for the role of Cryptographer are many and varied, hugely dependent upon the organisations that they work for.
Job duties pivot around the need to protect data from being copied, intercepted, modified or deleted by unauthorized actors.
A Cryptographer will need a good grasp of cryptographic security systems and their related algorithms. They will be responsible for designing robust and – as far as possible – secure systems that are not vulnerable to penetration or hacking.
Cryptographers will develop and use various mathematical or statistical models in their quest to analyse and secure potential threats to their systems.
Computational modelling will likely be utilized and combined with knowledge of cryptographic theories and their potential application in the real world of IT security.
The role is all-encompassing then from the initial theoretical to the ultimate practical implementation of securely encrypted communications, processing and data storage.
Prototyping of new security solutions using programming techniques that incorporate the most secure programming practices may be required along with staff training in encryption techniques where necessary.
More specific Cryptographer responsibilities may include:
1) Identifying any weakness in existing cryptography systems with a view to making them more secure.
One of the main roles of Cryptographer is in identifying weaknesses and then designing robust security systems in order to negate those risks. A Cryptographer will have a deep understanding of mathematics and statistical modelling techniques, enabling them to understand fully the implications of the varied encryption techniques available.
2) Testing cryptology theories in practice according to the organisations needs.
You have a leading role in the development of code, software tools and third party products that will provide your organisation with encryption technology. You’ll nee a good technical understanding of session authentication and communication protocols. Your role will give you overall responsibility for cryptographic issues.
3) Implementing more secure, highly encrypted solutions for your organisation.
As part of your role one of the main objectives will be in enhancing data security. You will develop new systems and provide technical support to other team members or partners, advising them how to implement more secure encryption and on cutting edge cryptic methods and their application within such encrypted systems.
4) On-going development of encryption technology, training and enhancement of IT security
Training of staff responsible for handling encrypted data and helping them to develop safe and secure systems will be another of your priorities.
You will need to be familiar with high security encrypted tech, such as Bitcoin, in order to be able to implement state of the art encryption solutions into your organisation.
You may need to report to Senior IT management, such as Project Managers and other IT Security staff, providing assistance where necessary enabling them to understand and implement more secure platforms.
The highly important job of Cryptographer is usually a daytime role, working an average 40 hours per week. Short-term Cryptographer Contractors and Consultants may be paid a day rate where any additional work is chargeable.
Many employees will desire a Bachelors degree in a related field such as Mathematics, Computer Engineering or Computer Science
For this role a Masters level qualification or doctorate in Computer Science or Mathematics would be indicated
What can you expect to earn as a Cryptographer? The position of a Cryptographer is a hugely important role with lots of responsibility. Salaries will of course vary depending on your experience, qualifications, the organisation and sector plus whether you are employed on a full-time, short-term Contractor or Consultant basis.
According to SimplyHired* average Salary expectations for the role of Cryptographer are $65,084 or £50,064 at a conversion rate of 1.3 for USD/GBP
* SimplyHired – http://www.simplyhired.com/salaries-k-cryptography-jobs.html