What is the difference between Hashing and Encryption in Information Security?


Hashing is a cryptographic procedure that can be used to check the authenticity and integrity of several types of input. It is broadly used in authentication systems to prevent storing plaintext passwords in databases, but it can also used to check files, documents and different types of data. Inadequate use of hashing functions can lead to serious data breaches, but not using hashing to secure sensitive information in the first place is poor.

Hashing functions are not reversible. The output of a hashing function is a fixed-length string of characters known as hash value, digest or directly a hash. These are not essentially pre-determined to be maintain secret because they cannot be transformed back into their original values.

The feature of a hashing function is that when hashed, a unique input should always result in the similar hash value. If two different inputs can have the similar hash value, it is known as collision and, depending how easy it is computationally to discover such a collision, the hash function can be treated broken from a security point of view.


Encryption is the procedure of encoding simple text and other data that can be accessed by the sole authorized entity if it has a decryption key. It will secure the sensitive information from being accessed by cybercriminals.

It is the most effective method of achieving information security in modern communication systems. In order for the receiver to read an encrypted message, it should have a password or a security key that is used in decryption. Data that has not been encrypted is called a plain text while encrypting data is called a cipher text.

The main concept of encryption is to secure information from an unauthorized person who need to read or get data from a message that was not destined for them. Encryption improves security when sending messages through the web or through any given network.

Let us see the comparison between Hashing and Encryption.

Hashing is a one-way function where a unique message digest is produced from an input file or a string of text. No keys are used.Encryption is a two-way function where data is scrambled using an encryption key and unscrambled later utilizing a decryption key.
Hashing is used to check the integrity of the content by identifying all modifications and thereafter changes to a hash output.Encryption encodes data for the basic goals of maintaining information confidentiality and security. It needed a private key to reversible function encrypted text to plain text.
There is no need of keys in hashing.Encryption is done with the support of keys. In case of symmetric encryption, only public keys are used. In asymmetric encryption, both public and private keys are used.
The objective of using hashing is to check data (i.e., protect information integrity)The purpose of encryption is to send data securely (i.e., protect information confidentiality)