What is PKI and how does PKI work?

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PKI is about building a framework to issue trusted digital identities to users, servers or things. The PKI framework is governed by a set of policies and procedures that defines level of security. PKI stands for Public Key Infrastructure.

A PKI typically includes a combination of software and hardware components, and together they implement functions for Certificate Authorities, Registration Authorities and Validation Authorities. These, in turn, are then responsible for issuing and lifecycle manage trusted identities for users, servers and things.

In everyday life, you use PKI when doing things online such as:

  • Logging in to your bank account
  • Shopping on an e-commerce site
  • Showing an e-passport.

PKI illustration

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