Public Key Infrastructure

INTRODUCTION

Public key infrastructure or PKI, as it is commonly known is a rapidly growing technology within the information technology world. Most people are unaware but we come into contact with PKI certificates frequently. Web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, and those that are available on our smart phones utilize SSL protocol and arrive on our systems pre stocked with digital certificates.

PKI Process

DESCRIPTION & HISTORY

The premier of the public key cryptography concept was introduced in the mid 1970's with the publication of Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman's paper "New Directions in Cryptography". The idea allowed cryptography to delve into aspects that were not yet possible and allowed the progression of expedient security services. The scope of public-key infrastructure encompasses a set of policies, procedures, and software that is used to create, manage, and distribute digital certificates. These certificates are then used to confirm the identities of businesses and their patrons.

***************** Martin Hellman and Whitfield Diffie ***************

PKI Founders

One of the most important properties of public key infrastructure would be the certificate authority which issues these certificates. The certificate authority acts as a trusted third party between the user and the service provider and issues the parties wishing to exchange information with a set of asymmetrical keys that normally reside within a digital certificate and provide as a viable proof of identification.

Root CA diagram