How it works

The key to PKI

A public-key infrastructure combines technology and administrative processes

to provide security for communications and business transactions conducted

via the Internet. It uses digital certificates, issued by a certificate

authority, to verify the identity of the parties in a transaction.

Digital certificates contain an individual's or organization's public

key software that identifies the owner of the key along with other authenticating

information. The certificate authority is a trusted third party that verifies

the integrity of the data within the certificate, validates its use and

then cryptographically seals it.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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