A public key infrastructure (PKI) is a security based technology to secure information shared over the internet and business networks. PKI involves the methods of software cryptography, hardware, storage, development oriented services, security policies, digital and key management and their distribution. An efficient PIK will always provide in entirety all the required mechanisms for the satisfaction of the fundamentals of confidentiality, integrity examination, non-repudiation and authentication of certification achievable. Therefore, the PIK provides the best platform through which many applications emanate. These applications includes secured message transfer through emailing, virtual private networks (VPN), one Sign on for company oriented applications and Remote Access through the certification authentication. Some states such as Estonia have employed the same knowledge in encryption of electronic identifications.
The features of a public key infrastructure include such methods such as Certificate console, which involves the abilities to store the users, computers; and Services certificate management. The certificate console led by certificate authority is imported as it will help the organization in achieving the following objectives: it will allow the organization to keep track of the information pertaining to the certificates including the certification paths and certificate contents. It could also be used in the importation of certificates into the certificates’ store enabling easy movement of the certificates from one store to another within the organization. As a consequence of the fact that the certificate stores will be under the sole control of the organization, they will be able to export certificates and keys to their customers and any other interested parties. The same also ensures that the certificates can easily be deleted from the certificates store .
The certificate trust authority model is another feature of the PIK that involves the software being supported by the hierarchical Certificate Authority trust model. The is achievable in the organization through certificate hierarchy which then allows for easy administration, scalability, and an improved compatibility of the software with the increasing number of commercially based Certificate Authorities as the third parties or probably some as the customers. Through this method, the certificate key awareness is one easy task that the organization performs without having to use other resources in within and outside of the organization. Through the certificate path it will be easy for the organization to verify the usability of the certificate after it has been traced back to the root CA by the subordinate CA and proved for correctness.
Through the cryptography involving ensuring that the information to be sent does get only to the intended persons, the security is provided on the transmission of the information and in communication. This method is also essential for internet based businesses such as Amazon, in this case the organization will have to verify to the customers that the website they are on or the software in question belongs to the company and does not have a counterfeit. This will aid when monetary transactions are involved because the customers will be assured of the security during the transaction.
Through the digital signature which is achieved through the cryptography the non-repudiation which ensures that the information sent by someone, one cannot deny has ensured accountability on the sides of the customers and anybody else who will be using the software or the internet service being provided by the organization. The method will also ensure authentication and integrity which are the principles of PIK. These factors will automatically convince the customers of the legibility of the company and every software that they will be producing.
The comparisons between the in house and public CA are that: Internal or in house CA is simplified and allows for easy management as there is totally no dependence on an outsider institution or person to provide for the certificates. The Public CA on the other hand is an outsider that the organization will have to depend on for certificates meaning that the management will always be complicated as terms will always be involved. It is quite beneficial when using the in house CA as there will be no additional funds to be involved while the reverse is true for a public CA
The public CA can also be viewed to have the following differences which makes it beneficial over the in-house CA: It is very easy to implement the external certificates than it is to implement an inbuilt certificate by the in-house CA. The public CA also proves to hold the responsibility of the security in a PIK. The public CA will be preferred over the in-house CA as it caters for the most important thing that concerns every customer and that is the security of the PIK hence will be the best as the quality of a software overrides the money involved in producing it.
Estonia Information System's Authority. (2012, May 18). Public Key Infrastracture PKI. Retrieved May 19, 2014, from www.ria.ee: https://www.ria.ee/public-key-infrastructure/
Microsoft. (2014, February 21). Features of Public Key Infrastracture. Retrieved May 19, 201, from technet.microsoft.com: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc961644.aspx
RSA Datab Security. (2009). Understanding Public Key Infrastracture. San Mateo: RSA Data Security Inc.