What Is PKI (Public-Key Infrastructure)


What is PKI (Public-Key Infrastructure)?

✍: FYIcenter.com


Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a public-key cryptography system that enables users to securely communicate on an insecure public network, and reliably verify the identity of a user via digital signatures.

The main function of the a PKI system is for the creation, storage, and distribution of digital certificates which are used to verify that a particular public key belongs to a certain entity. The PKI creates digital certificates which map public keys to entities, securely stores these certificates in a central repository, and revokes them if needed.

A PKI system usually consists of:

  • A certificate authority (CA) that both issues and verifies the digital certificates.
  • A registration authority which verifies the identity of users requesting information from the CA
  • A central directory, i.e. a secure location in which to store and index keys.
  • A certificate management system

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