Cybersecurity is one of the most sought-after academic disciplines in colleges and universities. In today’s world, since there are a lot of cyber attacks, the importance of implementing proper cybersecurity measures has become mandatory.
In this tech-driven day and age, the trend of using Public Key Infrastructure, or PKI, is on the rise. A tech person would easily understand what PKI means, but an average Joe would not know a thing about it. In this article, we are going to delve deep into knowing the basics of Public Key Infrastructure.
There are many tools like Keyfactor that provide Cyber Security certifications. So without wasting any further time, let us take a brief look at what PKI actually is.
What Does The Term PKI Mean?
In simple words, PKI is the term that focuses on everything that establishes and runs public key encryption. Public Key Infrastructure is one of the most common types of Internet encryption that deals with Cybersecurity.
It is actually installed on all web browsers to ensure that the traffic of the website is coming from a secure place. Organizations also use PKI to secure their internal communications.
The whole concept of PKI revolves around cryptography; it ensures that proper security is provided to websites. Keep in mind that these keys are not a part of the process of encryption; they just help to authenticate the true identity of the parties or devices. They are just certificate givers.
What Are PKI Certificates?
PKI certificates are nothing but online documents that work like digital passports. They are basically given to websites or entities that want to join the PKI-secured conversation. PKI certificates are not just some random authentication as they can contain a significant amount of data.
One of the top important pieces of information that a certificate includes is the website’s or entity’s public key; the certificate is only the medium through which the key is shared.
Then comes the part of authentication; the certificate comes with an attestation from a reliable source that the entity or website is who they declare to be. Let us look at some of the key elements of PKI certificates to get a better understanding.
A Registration Authority –
The registration authority is the single most important element in the Public Key Certificate. It confirms the identities of those asking for digital certificates.
A Certificate Authority –
The certificate authority signs the entities with its public key and issues digital certificates.
A Certificate Policy –
This certificate policy outlines all the PKI procedures; it helps outsiders judge the authenticity of the website.
A Certificate Database –
The Database stores the metadata and certificates until the license expires.
Now that you know the basis of PKI and PKI certificates, let us take a look at the uses of PKI.
What Are The Uses Of Public Key Infrastructure?
I am sure you have heard the term SSL before; it is the most common PKI implementation. But PKI is not just limited to SSL. There are a ton of other uses of PKI as well.
- Securing Local Networks.
- Email Encryption.
- Securing IOT Devices.
- Securing Internal Communications.
- Signing Documents.
- Giving Recovery Key For Encrypted Hard Drives.
I hope by now you have understood the uses of PKI, so let us take a look at some of the risks that you may face if you do not execute PKI properly.
What Are The Dangers of Poor PKI Implementation?
The thing is, having PKI does not ensure total security, but IT and Security Professionals take PKI very seriously because they are well aware of the risks. Some of the common risks that you may face due to poor PKI implementation are:
- More encryption increases operational costs
- Most business organization lack the proper infrastructure to Implement PKI
- Unsecured websites undermine trust.
There you have it, above was pretty much everything that you needed to know about PKI, aka Public Key Infrastructure. I hope you have found this article informative and educating. If you have some further queries in regards to PKI, kindly comment them down below.