Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) – Introduction to E-Business | BBA Notes

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

There is a compelling case for establishing a single standard protocol for the provision of secure systems rather than allowing competition. The Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) provides a generic approach to the issue of security. PKI is an e-commerce architecture which combines specialist authorities, digital certificate management systems, and directory facilities in order to build secure networks over unencrypted networks, such as the internet .

In the United Kingdom, PKI is managed by certificate authorities, such as the Post Office. All users of public keys are recorded in the form of digital certificates by the certificate authority, which oversees all aspects of data encryption. Registered users of public keys must receive approval from the Registration Authority.  

PKI has proved to be a popular choice of architecture for e-businesses thanks to the effective management of public keys and certificates. Three key areas of security are offered by PKI: confidentiality, authenticity, and non-repudiation. PKI management systems provide non-repudiation, such that neither buyer nor seller can reverse an electronic transaction. 

Certificates and keys are the two technologies that make up PKI. Data is encrypted using a key, which is a long number. An encrypted message uses a key formula to encrypt each element. If you want to write a message where every letter is replaced by the letter following it, then A becomes B, C becomes D, etc. With PKI, the key involves advanced mathematical concepts that are much more difficult to understand. If someone has this key, they will get what appears to be a nonsensical message that they must decrypt. A recipient who has the key can easily decrypt the message using the alphabetic example above. The private and public keys in PKI, on the other hand, are separate.

Anyone can access the public key and use it to encrypt messages they send to you. Messages are decrypted using a private key once they are received. Mathematical equations are used to connect the keys. These complex equations facilitate the connection between private and public keys despite the fact that they are connected. Using public key data to determine the private key is therefore extremely difficult. A certificate authority (CA) issues certificates that authenticate that the individual or entity you wish to communicate with is who they claim to be. An authentic device is one that has the appropriate certificate associated with it. Authenticating the certificate’s validity can be done through a system that evaluates its authenticity.

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