Public Key Infrastructure & Digital Certificates
This interactive lesson explains how Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) enables users and systems to exchange data over the Internet securely. PKI is a system used to distribute, verify, and revoke public keys used for public key encryption. A Digital Certificate, also known as a public key certificate, is a digital file that cryptographically links a public key with its owner. The PKI system uses a trusted third party called a Certificate Authority (CA) to issue, sign, and store the Digital Certificates. The lesson describes how the PKI process and exchange of Digital Certificates helps ensure multiple cybersecurity functions: confidentiality, authentication, access control, non-repudiation, and integrity.
This interactive lesson was made possible by funding from National Science Foundation Grant # DUE 1601612 at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey – PI Mike Qaissaunee, with contributions from Dr. John Sands & Susan Sands of Moraine Valley Community College and Jaime Mahoney of Bunker Hill Community College.