Electronic Digital Certificates Rely Upon Public Key Cryptography

Public key cryptography is the basis used with electronic digital certificates for a variety of purposes and applications, including digital signatures, two factor authentication, cloud authentication, VPN authentication and e-invoicing. This kind of system requires that digital certificates contain one of two types of keys. One key is called the private key, and it is kept secret. The other key is called the public key, and it may be shared with anyone who needs to authenticate against the private key. The certificate containing the private key is never shared and should only be issued to a single employee, or held saved securely within the application where it is being utilized, such as authenticating users connecting to secure areas of your website. The other certificate containing the public key is designed to be shared with as many people who require it, including people outside of your organization.

Public Key Cryptography Authentication Requires Public and Private Keys Results to Match

In order to authenticate a digital certificate using public key cryptography, both the public and private keys algorithm results must be the same. For example, if your public key runs its algorithm and comes up with a result of 4, your private key’s algorithm must also arrive with a result of 4 in order for authentication to proceed. In the event the two results do not match, authentication processes stop, and access is denied. It should be noted that the actual processes and algorithms performed by each certificate are much more complex and unique to each certificate. This means the processes used by the certificate containing the public key are completely different from those used by the certificate containing the private key. The reason this is done is to provide organizations with additional security and protection.