PKI is Public Key Infrastructure. Gulp… I know, quite a mouthful, right? Yet it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
PKI was introduced for businesses to facilitate protected data transfer between two points. X.509 Electronic certificates use public-key encryption which are known as PKI certificates.
I know this may sound a bit technical but the truth is, you probably have PKI certificates and you don’t know you have them. If you have a website, you’re likely to have a PKI certificate, better known as an SSL certificate because that’s what secures your site. It transforms your website from an HTTP to an HTTPS. Find out how I get my SSL certs free through Wealthy Affiliate.
So, do you need PKI certificates for your business? Almost certainly, yes. Do you need to know all the technical details of public key infrastructure? Nope. All you need to know is in this short article.
What is The Role of PKI Certificates?
Public key infrastructure certificates are basically data files that communicate particular information about their distinct certificate requesters and are utilized to confer encryption strictures.
Generally, they use formulas to:
- Confirm the identity of websites, servers, email clients, browsers, publishers, and software developers.
- Encrypt and decrypt resting data such as files and emails that are resting on servers.
- Ensure safe transporting of data via the web, including e-commerce transactions.
- Affix electronic signatures to documents, emails, and software.
Various Kinds of PKI Certificates
The most commonplace PKI certificates are:
1. TLS/SSL Certificate
An SSL/TLS certificate is useful for safeguarding data transfer between user browsers and website browsers. The website owner purchases and installs SSL certs on their server from where the website is hosted.
SSL/TLS certificates differ in terms of:
- Functionality – depending on the data they are securing, for instance, multi-domains, single domains and wildcards.
- Validation – OV (organizational validation), EV (extended validation), and DV (domain validation).
2. Personal Authentication Certificates
Also referred to as email signing certificates, personal authentication certificates and S/MIME certificates ensure email communication is secured by adding electronic signatures and making use of hashing functionality. They can also be useful for authenticating client information.
3. Document Signing Certificates
These certificates are utilized for keeping documents that you’re sharing over the net secure by adding electronic signatures as well as hashing functionality.
4. Code Signing Certificates
Code signing certificates are ideal for protecting your downloadable drivers, executables, and software. They are mainly used by publishers and software developers. They are also available in individual validation, organizational validation and extended validation format and assist software developers with avoiding security warnings.
More About PKI
PKI is a set of policies, procedures, technologies, and frameworks that embodies and supports public key authentication and encryption. Public key infrastructure was founded in the 1960s by the Government Communications Headquarters and entails using mathematically connected key pairs called a private key and a public key.
These keys are created and assigned for verifying the identities of endpoints. They are also useful for encryption and decryption of data.
Do I Need PKI Certificates in My Business?
People often have uninformed misconstructions about cybersecurity. For instance, start-ups and small businesses are secure online and do not need PKI Certificates or other forms of online protection to protect their data. However, cybercrime statistics tell a different story.
Irrespective of the size of your company, you could be at risk. Being cybersecurity attentive is something that keeps expanding since cybercriminals become more creative and smarter by the day with their cyberattacks.
PKI technology is essential when it comes to cybersecurity and digital communication. Installing a KPI certificate on your server could protect not only you, but your customers from different kinds of cyberattacks like phishing attacks, middle man attacks, DDoS attacks, session hijacking, email spoofing, and more.
One cyberattack could lead to a company losing its reputation and millions of dollars in noncompliance penalties and lawsuits.
Did you know that you were using PKI certificates in your business?
This post was sponsored by Key Factor. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.