Now-a-days it’s the internet that is making all the noise. It’s the online presence of individual that matters now. The virtual space seems quite easy to the people, but all is not always green. Some miscreants may be looking to take advantage of your one single mistake. It’s where ‘PKI’ comes into the picture. Wondering what PKI is all about? Then you need to go though my post to know about it in detail.
WHAT IS PKI?
PKI is an acronym for Public Key Infrastructure which is a latest technology that is being associated with digital certificates. Fulfilling a similar purpose to a driver’s license or a passport – Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) helps to prove your identity and provides you certain allowances.
While people confuses it with an authentication system, rather it is actually an infrastructure that uses digital certificate as an authentication mechanism and is developed to manage certificates and their associate keys in an effective way.
WHAT DOES PUBLIC KEY INFRASTRUCTURE CONSISTS OF?
PKI can be implemented for the use of the users within an organization on its network or a certificate issuing commercial entity. The typical structure of PKI consists of the following:
- Policies governing the operation of PKI
- The digital certificates to be issued
- Certification Authority having the right to issue the certificates as per the governing policies.
- Applications to use the PKI
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR ISSUANCE, MANAGEMENT AND REVOCATION OF CERTIFICATES?
The process starts with a request. A key pair is created and signed by the requestor and the public key is sent to the Certification Authority, who verifies the signature and identity as per the applicable policies. If things are alright, then the public key is signed by CA’s private key thus creating the certificate which is sent back to the requestor and can now be published.
If for any reasons the key is compromised or the user is no longer the part of the organization or otherwise, the certificate might be revoked. This is done through the publication and distribution of Certification Revocation List. Whenever verification requests come, the application search against a database of revoked certificates that is updated automatically.
USES OF PKI
The applicability of PKI is seen in a wide variety of cases. Some of the typical cases of PKI include:
- Securing Internet browsing experiences and communications through SSL/TLS Certificates.
- Digital signatures on software
- Restricting access to intranets of enterprises and VPNs
- Password-free Wifi access based on the ownership of the device
- Email and data encryption
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By protecting sensitive data and communications and by verifying digital identities, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) helps to secure our digital world. PKI are becoming an important elements in network and Internet security in today’s world. With the ever growing number of connected devices and applications, this security continues to grow in importance.