Ways to Use Certificate to Authentication

Q

What are the ways to use certificate for authentication? Can certificates be used to secure Web sites, secure network servers, secure client machines and secure user log in access?

✍: FYIcenter.com

A

Authentication is crucial to secure and reliable communication. Each party to a communication must be able to prove their own identity to those with whom they communicate, and in turn must be able to verify the identity of the parties at the other end of the communication.

This process can be challenging when both parties are in the same location. Authentication of identity on a network can be even more difficult because the communicating parties do not physically meet as they communicate. This makes it potentially easier for an unethical person to intercept messages that are meant to be private or to pretend that they are another person or entity.

Digital certificates and public key encryption provide an enhanced means of verifying identity, which makes it difficult for an entity to impersonate another entity. Digital certificates help verify identity because the data in a certificate includes the public cryptographic key from the certificate subject's public and private key pair. A message signed with its sender's private key can be verified by the message's recipient as authentic by using the sender's public key, which can be found on a copy of the sender's certificate. Verifying a signature by using a public key from a certificate proves that the signature was produced using the certificate subject's private key. If the sender has been vigilant and has kept the private key secret, the receiver can be confident in the identity of the message sender.

A few of the ways certificates are used to provide authentication are:

  • Authentication of a user to a secure Web site via the Transport Layer Security (TLS) or the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.
  • Authentication of a server to a user via TLS.
  • Logging on to a Windows Server 2003 domain.
  • Authentication of a client on a wireless network.
  • Authentication of a client across the Internet to create a virtual private network (VPN).
  • Internet Protocol security (IPSec).

2016-06-27, 3456👍, 4💬