Understanding The Importance Of A PKI Certificate For A Number Of Needs

For an IT professional, the understanding of the meaning of SSL and how SSL/TLS products provide security for a domain is basic. However, for many people using SSL/TLS products or even Personal Authentication Certificates, there may not be an understanding of the importance of the PKI certificate for a number of different security and trust reasons.

There are different types of PKI certificates available based on the type of security and trust needs for a website or for an email account. By having different levels and also different types of SSL/TLS products it is possible for a business or an individual to have the specific type of security or trust needed for their own unique requirements.

There are two very important elements of Public Key Infrastructure. Keep in mind this is not a software download or a specific program. Instead, Public Key Infrastructure is the framework or infrastructure that is used to create online security. This means that when implementing Public Key Infrastructure for a specific website or email there is:

  • Authentication
  • Access control
  • Confidentiality
  • Integrity
  • Non-repudiation

Each of these five elements or considerations offered by Public Key Infrastructure is a benefit to both the user of a website or the sender and receiver of an email. Knowing how to use the PKI certificate for a number of different benefits not only highlights the value of this framework but also the necessity to have this included for both business and personal data transmission online.

Trusted Source

One of the two essential components of any Public Key Infrastructure is the use of a Certificate Authority. At Comodo, we are the world's leading trust provider and offer a complete range of SSL/TLS products for professionals, corporations as well for private individuals.

The importance of a recognized and trusted Certificate Authority (CA) cannot be understated. The CA is the entity issuing the certificate that recognizes the applicant for the cert is a verified and validated person, entity, organization or business.

If the CA is not trusted, the certificate is not trusted. To create this level of trust, the top CAs have their root certificates embedded in browsers and devices. Comodo's root certificates are found in 99.9% of browsers and devices which means those devices and browsers trust that our certificates are issued to valid and verified entities.

To ensure this, we follow the AICPA/CICA WebTrust for Certification Authorities Principles and Criteria requirements and also offer our Certification Practice Statement that outlines how we use the PKI framework in our issuance of the various certs we offer. This is what makes our PKI certificate for a number of different organizations the optimal choice.

Encryption of Email

By applying for and configuring a PKI certificate for email clients, which may also be known as a Personal Authentication Certificate, email can be encrypted. This uses the same type of procedures as for domains with a public key and a private key that are uniquely related to each other.

This allows information that is encrypted by either the private or public key to only be decrypted by the matching opposite type of key. This makes a PKI certificate for a number businesses or private individuals a must. Without this encryption, email is open to anyone wishing to eavesdrop, intercept or engage in man-in-the-middle attacks.

By encrypting and decrypting with the use of the private and public key pair, even if an email were to be intercepted it would just be random numbers. There is no way the hacker could "decrypt" the email unless he or she somehow also obtained the private and public key.

The good news is that even if this were to happen the keys and the certificate can be revoked by the CA, immediately ending any risk.

Digital Signatures

Digital signature are another of the reasons that a PKI certificate is important on an email account. This allows the sender to actually verify (like a handwritten signature) that the information contained in the message is sent from their email account, by them, and is either in authentic form or that it has been tampered with.

This is done by the use of the private key and a hash message. Once sent to the receiver both the message and the hash is decoded and, if they match, the receiver knows the email is authentic and unaltered.

Finally, when this process occurs, it creates a non-repudiation factor. The sender cannot say he or she did not send the email as only he or she has the ability to access the private key to complete the digital signature.

For more information on the benefits of using a PKI certificate for a number of different business and personal emails, talk to our team at Comodo. Reach us by phone at +1 888 266 6361 or through the website live chat at https://www.instantssl.com.

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