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Introduction To Public Key Infrastructure Essay

2054 words - 8 pages

In today's information age, the internet transaction is a prevalent phenomenon that benefits the business world a lot and makes our lives much easier. However, with the increasing extensive use of the internet, security issue becomes the biggest concern to people. Internet transmitted information regarding business secrets or people's privacy is highly vulnerable. The urgent needs for security safeguard have given birth to PKI, an emerging technology of Public Key Infrastructure. PKI is a comprehensive method used to secure the electronic transmissions over the internet. Its development has dramatic economic influences and it is considered a competitive advantage to maintain prosperity in the business environment. The importance and popularity of PKI technology lies upon its ability to allow users from corporate, government, and consumer sectors to take advantage of the convenience internet provides, meanwhile to safeguard transmitted information from being intruded or disturbed. In the following discussion, the paper will mainly explore the nature of this new technology, its pros and cons, and it will also develop guidelines to evaluate and implement PKI.ANALYSIS of PKIWith the development of the Internet, people are more and more concerned about the security of information transferred by this technology. An emerging technology called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) was created by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman in 1976 and developed later by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Len Adleman to meet this demand. "PKI is a scheme based on public and private key cryptography and digital signatures. Users can use these digital signatures to electronically encode and decode information in a secure way on the Internet" (Evans & Yen, 2005) PKI users can enjoy 4 benefits: privacy, confirmation, integrity, and identity. Privacy ensures that the information transferred cannot be seen by a third party. Confirmation makes sure senders or receivers cannot deny their involvement in the electronic transaction. Integrity guarantees that receivers receive the same information sent by senders. Identity verifies the identity of the senders and the receivers.But how PKI functions? Senders and receivers need digital certificates issued by Certification Authorities. A digital certificate confirms its holder's unique computer identity and provides his/her private and public key. The public key is known by everyone while the private key is secret and known only to the user. Before sending messages, the software on a sender's computer creates a digital signature (by using his private key), and encrypt the messages (by using a receiver's public key). When receiving the digitally signed and encrypted messages, the receiver uses his private key to decrypt the messages. Since only the receiver's private key can decrypt messages encrypted with his public key, the confidentiality of the document is confirmed. Confirmation, integrity, and identity are also assured because...

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