Online Security & Digital Certificates

PDF The solution to the problem of online identification, two factor authentication and privacy in computer based systems lies in the field of cryptography. Due to the non-physical nature of electronic communication, traditional methods of physically marking transactions with a seal or signature are useless. So an alternative mark must be coded into the information itself in order to identify the source and provide privacy against eavesdroppers.

One widely used tool for privacy protection is what cryptographers call a "secret key." Log-on passwords and cash card PINs are examples of secret keys. Consumers share these secret keys only with the parties they want to communicate with, such as an online subscription service or a bank. Private information is then encrypted with this password, and it can only be decrypted by one of the parties holding that same password.

Despite its widespread use, this secret-key system has some serious limitations. As network communications proliferate, it becomes very cumbersome for users to create and remember different passwords for each situation. Moreover, the sharing of a secret key involves inherent risks. In the process of transmitting a password, it can fall into the wrong hands, or one of the sharing parties might use it maliciously and then deny all action or liability.

Digital Certificate technology addresses these issues because it does not rely on the sharing of secret keys. Rather than using the same key to both encrypt and decrypt data, a Digital Certificate uses a matched pair of keys that are unique complements to one another. In other words, what is done by one key can only be undone by the other key in the matching pair?

Digi-CA™ generates these Digital Certificates using the patented Rivest, Shamir & Adelman [RSA] cryptographic algorithm. This algorithm is a mathematical formula that creates a dual key algorithm that is used to create the Digital Certificate.

Private and Public Key

In this type of Key-Pair system, the "Private Key" can only be accessed by you. Your "Public Key" gets widely distributed as part of the Digi-ID™. Customers, partners or employees who want to communicate privately with you can use the Public Key in your Digi-ID™ to encrypt information, and you are then the only one who can decrypt that information. Since the Public Key alone does not provide access to communications, you do not need to worry about who gets hold of this Key.

Your Digi-ID™ tells customers and correspondents that your Public Key in fact belongs to you. Your Digi-ID™ contains your name and identifying information, your Public Key and electronic signature as certification. The online flash presentation of Digi-CA™ explains the benefits in a simple and easy to understand manner.