What is a PKI Certificate?

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A PKI are set of services united to make an infrastructure for the reason securing applications. A PKI gives these services to applications:
• Certificate Authority - Automatically signs up a certificate that has a key and an identity. This procedure is called "certification".
• Key Recovery and Backup - A means to bring back damaged or lost certificates
• Key History - Certificates can be updated. Any data protected making use of the older keys wouldn't be accessible if not the older keys are saved in an archive.
• Certificate Repository - A storeroom repository for certificates
• Certificate Revocation - A means of breaching the relationship between a key and an identity.
• Automatic Key Recertification - Certificates end after a specified time. Automated key recertification could update with a new ending date when needed w/out manual intervention.
• Cross Certification - Utilized to make a trust relationship between detach PKI's. This allows for a decentralized and distributed infrastructure.

• Support for Non Repudiation - avoids a certificate owner from refusing that data was protected making use of the owner's certificate
• Time stamping - Confirm that the time stamp on the protected data is valid and accurate.
• Client API - A means for an application to utilize the services given by a PKI
There are several terms above that should be defined. An identity is a name. The name can refer to a printer or a person. A key is basically a number. This number is connected with the uniqueness to form a certificate. The certificate can be saved w/in a file or a database. The storage process isn't really important. What is vital is that it and its data are accessible. Signing for a certificate passes on to the procedure of the Certificate authority putting its stamp of authorization on the certificate to say that the certificate is accurate and valid according to the CA. This whole process is passed on to as Certification.
Not all of the services stated above are needed for every PKI installation. Actually a small PKI install could suit most environments.

What PKI is not
As vital as it is to know what a PKI is, it is important to know what it is not. A PKI doesn't handle authorization. Authorization services must be given by a Privilege Management Infrastructure or PMI. However, a PMI can use a PKI for identity verification. A PKI doesn't automatically make a system safe. Software bugs…human error… malicious code signed by a relied entity…

Learn more on WhatIsAPKICertificate and RSA Certificate at www.pkicertificate.com.

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