Public Key Infrastructure is what we call the structure of actions and procedures that are used to, provide, manage and run public key encryption and digital certificate and digital signature services including authenticating the users. The keys used in the encryption cryptography, the public key (after which it has been named) and the private key is a part of this infrastructure but the main reason behind its’ existence is to keep secure the public keys which are made to be used in the open domain and therefore is vulnerable to attacks by the hackers. To put it in simple words, it is one of the many mechanisms designed to prevent digital and online communication from getting attacked by cybercriminals.
In this Infrastructure, key holders, whether they be a living person or computer devices, are referred to as entities. These entities are present on all platforms run on Multifactor Authentication (MFA) such as Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Wi-Fi and PKI ensure a secure connection for them.
Listed below are the common usages of PKI:
- Encryption of data and files
- Web page securing
- Authenticating nodes to the wire as well as the authentication of VPN connections and email
Now there’s a thing called private PKI which not very different from the regular PKI but allows customers to have a customized experience with a variety of new features for digital certificates. Private PKI allows you to create your own Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate which can be designed according to your personal needs and requirements. These features are a compliment to an already successful PKI which even in its’ simple form allows digital certificates to adapt to the device’s size and capability plus Scalability for higher volumes.
The need for higher quality and secure services is essential because PKI is used in data transfers involving sensitive information such as internet banking and e-commerce. Hence the need for a digital key instead of a mere password. Passwords can be known and memorized by many people including those you don’t want to but by assigning individual identities to individual end-users and devices, PKI succeeds in achieving a benchmark.
There are many levels of identification in this structure and one of the most important ones is Registration Authority which is often referred to as Subordinate Certificate Authority (CA). The functions of PKI might seem so complicated and confusing but it has turned out to be an effective system of unique identification.
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