A Root Certificate Is Part of a Digital Certificate

There are different parts which make up a digital certificate, each designed to supply certain types of information or perform specific functions. For instance, the root certificate is embedded into all kinds of digital certificates, because it is responsible for taking care of authentication processes. Whenever the digital certificate is called for, such as with two factor authentication, the root provides the credentials of the digital certificate to the certificate authority or to another certificate containing a private key. As long as the certificate has the proper credentials and is able to be authenticated, then the user is prompted to enter his or her user name and password to complete the two factor authentication procedure. In the event the digital certificate fails authentication, then the entire log-on process is stopped.

A Root Certificate Contains Data That Is Used for Authentication

The data contained in a root certificate tells the digital certificate where it is to obtain and connect in order to be authenticated. Some organizations might decide to have all of the digital certificates authenticated against their certificate authority system. This system is the one that was used to create the digital certificates to begin with, and can also be used to perform and authenticate the certificates, later. However, this method is not always practical or possible, so another option is to validate and authenticate digital certificates against other digital certificates. In this authentication procedure, a digital certificate with a public key is authenticated against a digital certificate with a private key. During the authentication process, the certificate with the private key may be authenticated against the certificate authority, as well.