What is Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)? OCTATCO

What is Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)?

What is Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)?

PKI stands for Public Key Infrastructure. It is a system used to manage digital certificates and public-private key pairs used in asymmetric cryptography.

Public key cryptography is a type of encryption technique that uses a pair of keys - a public key and a private key - to encrypt and decrypt data. The public key is widely distributed and used to encrypt messages, while the private key is kept secret and used to decrypt messages. The two keys are mathematically related, but it is computationally infeasible to derive the private key from the public key.

Public key cryptography is commonly used in various security protocols such as SSL/TLS, S/MIME, SSH, and PGP. In SSL/TLS, public key cryptography is used to establish a secure channel between a web server and a client, while in S/MIME, it is used to secure email messages. In SSH, public key cryptography is used to authenticate users, and in PGP, it is used for secure communication and data encryption.

PKI provides a framework for the secure exchange of digital information by using a trusted third party, known as a Certificate Authority (CA), to issue, manage, and revoke digital certificates.

A digital certificate is an electronic document that verifies the identity of a person, organization, or device and includes information such as the public key and the name of the entity it represents. The private key is kept secret by the entity and is used to sign digital messages and decrypt information encrypted with the corresponding public key.

PKI is used in a variety of applications such as secure email, secure web browsing, virtual private networks (VPNs), and digital signatures. It provides a strong level of security for online transactions and communications by ensuring the authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality of the data being transmitted because the private key is never shared or transmitted over the network, reducing the risk of interception or theft.


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