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What is PKI in Cyber Security?

Public key infrastructure (PKI) is a critical component of cyber security. It is a system of digital certificates, encryption keys, and other components that enable secure communication over the internet. In this article, we will discuss what PKI is, how it works, and the benefits it provides for cyber security. We will also explore how PKI can be used to protect data and ensure secure transactions online. By understanding PKI and its importance in cyber security, organizations can better protect their networks from malicious actors.

What is PKI?

PKI, or public key infrastructure, is the framework of encryption and cybersecurity. It secures client-server communications by using two different keys to encrypt and decrypt data. The public key is used to encrypt data, while the private key is used to decrypt it. This key pair is created using asymmetric encryption or Public Key Cryptography. PKI creates a trustworthy environment by authenticating and verifying the integrity of data and users through cryptographic features.

PKI makes use of both symmetric and asymmetric encryption to keep all its assets secure. Symmetric encryption uses one single key for both encryption and decryption, while asymmetric encryption uses two separate keys – one for each process.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) provides a secure way for companies, web browsers and other entities to exchange digital information over networks with authentication and verification of user identity.

How Does PKI Work?

PKI works by using digital certificates to authenticate users, devices, and services. A digital certificate is a file that contains information about the user, device, or service such as their name, address and public key. This information is used to verify the identity of the user, device or service. Once verified, the public key is used to encrypt data which is then sent over a network where it can only be decrypted using the private key. This ensures that only the intended recipient can access the data.

Through encryption and decryption PKI creates secure connections for both public and private networks by issuing digital certificates that authenticate identities of users, devices or services. These certificates are similar in purpose to driver’s licenses or passports as they provide identification proving an entity’s identity.

A PKI includes a variety of digital files such as documents and cryptographic data used to validate an entity’s identity. In simple terms a PKI certificate is a package containing all this information.

Benefits of PKI

PKI, or public key infrastructure, is a computer security system that provides public keys and digital certificates to organisations to encrypt public data. It creates a trustworthy environment by authenticating and verifying the integrity of data and users. PKI-enabled systems use cryptographic features to provide authentication of users, devices, and services; data encryption and integrity; secure communication over networks; as well as protection against cyber attacks. There are three types of PKI certificates: server certificates for web servers, client certificates for user authentication, and code signing certificates for software developers.

PKI helps authenticate senders via cryptography and digital certificates. It secures client-server communications by providing encryption between two parties in order to protect sensitive information from being intercepted or tampered with during transmission. This ensures that only authorised individuals can access the information.

The most common use of PKI is in e-commerce transactions where it is used to verify the identity of customers before allowing them access to their accounts or making purchases online. Additionally, it can be used in other areas such as email encryption, secure file transfer protocols (SFTP), virtual private networks (VPNs), secure shell (SSH) connections etc.


Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is an essential component of cyber security, providing authentication of users, devices, and services as well as data encryption and integrity. It is a widely used system of digital certificates and associated key management processes used to secure communication and data over networks. PKI is an effective way to protect against cyber attacks and ensure secure communication.

Encryption algorithms are used to secure communications and ensure the privacy of data sent from one computer to another. Non-repudiation can be achieved through the use of PKI which provides a framework for issuing, maintaining, and revoking public key certificates.

In conclusion, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a cryptosystem that provides authentication, encryption/decryption services as well as non-repudiation capabilities for companies or entities that need to securely exchange digital information. It is an essential component in cyber security that helps protect against malicious attacks while ensuring secure communication.

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