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Cryptography and Communications Security


Cryptography & Communications Security

Cryptography & Communications Security is the design, development, test, implementation and operation of a system or product to provide cryptographic and/or secure communications.

Roles in this specialism vary, but all are fairly technical and some are very technical, requiring a very high level of mathematical ability. Even for those roles which don’t include these kinds of skill, you need a good understanding of the fundamentals of cryptography, communications standards and technologies, and of some other elements of information technology.

There are two strands of the pathways through this specialism, but a role may combine elements of both. There are not many jobs as a pure cryptographer. But, if you do work as a cryptographer, you develop, test and improve cryptographic elements: algorithms, key handling procedures and security protocols. The more

On the program learners will receive knowledge and skills relating to the following areas:

  • Cryptographic security protocols and techniques

  • Common Cryptographic Solutions

  • Secure Development

  • Secure Operations and Service Delivery

  • Identity and Access Management

  • COMSEC Accounting

  • COMSEC Custodian Controls

  • Application of Security Paradigms

  • Authentication, Authorisation and Accountability

  • Incident Management and Forensics

  • Malware and Attack Technologies

common role in cryptography involves building, maintaining and testing existing security protocols, sometimes in hardware but more often in software.


The other strand in the pathway is in communications security, which offers more jobs.


As a more junior practitioner you focus on implementing and maintaining crypto services as part of a larger system. If the systems on which you work are public facing, particularly through websites, you may be involved in the management digital certificates. You may be responsible for managing the distribution and retirement of keys, as a crypto custodian. This activity normally proceeds at a steady pace, although in some organisations you work on a 'shift' rota.


However, if a security incident affects the communications services you manage, you may be required to work quickly to investigate whether secure communications channels have been breached or bypassed.

As you gain more experience in communications security, you may provide expert technical advice and guidance for a diverse range of cyber security projects and tasks. You are probably part of internal Change Advisory Board meetings, commenting on proposed changes taking place on the network. You may explore how cryptographic techniques and related cyber security controls could be used to secure the organisation's products and services across a wide range of application areas, so you will have a broad view of the organisation’s business. You may also be responsible for developing the knowledge and experience of more junior team members.

Given the central role of cryptography in most network communications, almost any work that you do in this specialism will need to align with industry or governmental standards, such as those of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Entry Level Program

Learners will receive...

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Practitioner Level Program

Learners will receive...

  • Coming soon...

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