Encryption Frameworks – Public Key Management

Public key infrastructure
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“Encrypt your data or lose it”

In today’s modern world, there are millions of websites that provide different services, but how are they doing this? How are they shielding themselves from attackers? 

Using public Key Management to build a safe environment

The Internet is a place where the attackers look out for vulnerable websites and networks and are always looking for a loophole to take advantage of. A cyber criminal can change his identity in no time and make himself anonymous. So attackers are on the lookout for bugs and vulnerabilities. So protecting  your data is the first step to keep hackers on bay.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) :

Public key Infrastructure or PKI is one of the most important encryption methods that is used to secure data, provide confidentiality and transfer the data between the client and the server. It is also used to verify the authenticity of the websites, making it less tedious for the users to ensure that they are connected to the official site. PKI verifies the sites by the use of the TLS (Transport Layer Security) or SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) certificates provided by the Certificate Authorities (CA’s).

Public key cryptography or asymmetric cryptography is a system which makes it possible to verify both the parties and provides an encrypted and secured connection. The asymmetric cryptography contains public key and a private key. When a request is initialized, only after the public and private key matches you will be able to communicate with the server, and if both keys are valid then the encrypted connection will be established.

Public key cryptography helps us to establish a secure connection, and in some cases there is a possibility for the hacker to get the private key. To resolve these kinds of issues we use Digital certificates, when the browser requests the server for the connection, the server provides the public key and also adds up the digital certificate obtained from the CA’s to the browser ensuring that they are connected to an authentic site. Digital certificates are used for verification and trust for the clients, ensuring that they are connected to the authentic site, not a fake one.

How PKI works?

PKI basically encrypts the data sent from the client to the server and also from the server to the client for the establishment of a secure connection and ensuring that there is no possibility of data theft. Only the receiver, holding the key to decrypt the data will be able to see the message sent by the sender. For example, the server sends a message to the client, the message says, “Thank you”. Then the data is encrypted to some random code.

Message   + Key        = ciphertext

Thank you + a03hd6j = 2u3dwfsb!=i

So when an unauthorized person gets access to data, He is unable to decrypt the data because the decryption key is in the hand of the server.

Methods in PKI :

Public Key Cryptography :

The two key method is used to encrypt the data between the sender and the receiver to break down the possibility of data theft. There are two types of keys used in this method one is a public key and the other one is a private key. The public key is open to everyone. The private key is held by the sender. The data encrypted by the public key can only be decrypted by the private key. The encryption used in this scenario is an asymmetric type of encryption.

For example;

Imagine three people Rob, Alex, and Tom.

Rob wants to send a message to Alex confidentially. So, Rob holds a public key and the data he sent is encrypted and Alex receives the data sent by Rob and decrypts it to get the plain text. Even if Tom steals the data he will not be able to read it because he does not possess the decryption key.

Digital Certificates :

Digital Certificates are issued by trusted third parties that ensure the identity of the sender with the receiver and the identity of the receiver with the sender. A digital certificate contains the certificate holder’s public key and many other information about the owner. If the digital signature in the certificate is valid, then the software analyses the certificate and confirms the identity of the issuer. The digital certificate contains the following items.

1. A digital certificate includes the public key being certified.

2. The Information about the entity that owns the public key.

3. The serial number used to identify the certificate.

4. Digital Signature of the public key created by the issuer.

5. The validity of the certificates.

Advantages of PKI( public key infrastructure) :

1. PKI builds trust to the client, that they are connected to an authentic network.

2. Here users have their own certificate for their authentication, There is no need or requirements for a third party to come online.

3. It is highly secure, i.e., hackers must have the private key and come through other barriers to get the information.

Disadvantages of PKI :

1. If the private key is not protected, then your connection is no longer secured.

2. The public key system can be slow when your computer needs to work with a large amount of encrypting and decrypting the data.

3. When the server experiences large traffic in some situations, the distribution of public keys may be complicated to the users.

PKI is one of the encryption methods used to protect your data from being stolen and get exploited, but just PKI can’t ensure your security as your server does lots of jobs and everything is interlinked to one another, so it is important for you to be sure that your whole server is protected and repeatedly checked on a regular basis.

If your system is compromised or if you would like to be prepared you can contact us at info@rootfloe.com for a free consultation.

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