PKI, or Public Key Infrastructure, is a large part of what makes the internet secure. It forms the base layer of security for any service that utilizes cryptography to protect data. PKI provides businesses with an increased level of trust in digital transactions. As someone looking for a provider of PKI solutions, it is important for you to do your own research and find the best provider for your business. There are many PKI providers on the market, but not all of them will provide a service that meets your needs as a business owner.
PKI is a complicated topic, but you do not need to be an expert in cryptography or security to understand it well enough for your own purposes. This article will help you navigate the world of PKI and find a provider to meet your needs.
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What is PKI and why do I need it?
PKI is a system of security procedures, protocols, and standards designed to create digital certificates. A PKI solution will provide you with both public and private keys. Cryptography is the process by which these digital certificates are generated. These key pairs are typically certified by a trusted 3rd party known as a Certificate Authority or CA. The CA certifies that the keys associated with these certificates are valid.
Certificate Authorities can include both commercial and non-commercial entities. There is no official list of trusted Certificate Authorities, so it is important to do your research before choosing yours. Understand what policies and practices apply to their particular CA and only select a provider you trust with your business’s information.
PKI stands for Public Key Infrastructure. The underpinning concept of PKI, where one person encrypts a message knowing that the recipient has the secret key to decrypt it, has been in practice for thousands of years. Today, it’s most familiar use is probably online communications. To ensure data safety when communicating with others, the data is encrypted and can only be decrypted by a party with the correct private key.
Who are the best providers of PKI?
As with most everything, there is no one “best provider” for PKI solutions. There are many out there, but not all will provide you with good service or meet your needs as a business owner. As someone looking for a provider of PKI solutions, it is important to do your research and find a provider that will meet your needs.
How to select a PKI provider for your business?
As someone looking for a provider of PKI solutions, it is important for you to do your own research before making any decisions. A good place to start with this research is the site of the CA that will be certifying your keys. Make sure that their processes are compatible with your business’s needs and understand how they work.
A word of caution: a Certificate Authority may be a commercial entity or a non-commercial entity. If you choose a non-commercial CA, ensure that they have a policy in place for managing clients who need to revoke certificates, as well as the capability to respond quickly in case of incidents. It is important to research any potential Certificate Authority before making your final decision.
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Why you should never use an in-house solution to provide your company with PKI
Some businesses may choose not to use a 3rd party provider and instead opt for an in-house solution. It is important to note that while this is possible, it should never be used as a way of providing PKI services to your business if the goal is to comply with regulations and/or to avoid the risk of any potential data breaches. Using key pairs certified by an in-house CA does not meet regulations for rigorous testing, auditing, physical security, or even proper management processes. A commercial provider will have all these things taken care of all ready for you.
The five most important factors when selecting a PKI provider
Based on our research and understanding of PKI, these are the five most important factors to consider when selecting a provider:
- Services and pricing
- Key management and recovery
- Authentication and authorization
- Timely revocation of certificates
- Extensive certificate compatibility with different browsers and devices
When should I consider outsourcing my company’s needs for PKI solutions to another firm or individual?
If your business is new, it might be a little while before you begin to use certificates. You can wait until this time comes before looking for a provider. If you are ready to start using PKI right now, you can choose an existing company or engage an individual to meet your needs. These are simply suggestions on when you may want to consider outsourcing your PKI needs.
When it comes to choosing a PKI provider, you need to do your research and choose the option that will work best for you. This article has presented some points that you should consider as someone looking for a provider of PKI solutions. Remember that there is no such thing as the “best” provider. There are many out there, but not all will meet your needs. Research their services, pricing, and customer support to help you make the best decision for your company.
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