Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is used to establish a chain of trust so that a user, service, computer, or application can be authenticated, a secure connection can be established or the origin of software or documents can be validated. This is done through certificates, which a PKI creates, manages, distributes, but also can revoke. A certificate contains the public key, its corresponding private key must be kept safe and secret. It must be kept in a hardware security module (HSM).
Articles and papers about PKI:
The Microsoft (MS) Server package already contains a PKI. With that PKI a Certificate Authority (CA) can be established. The trust of the entire system and validity of each issued certificate depends upon the protection of the CA key issuing the identities.Therefore, Microsoft best practices recommend storing private keys on a HSM.
Microsoft PKI with Primus HSM – Solution Brief (pdf)
What are the prerequisites for a secure PKI today? Will quantum computers make PKIs obsolete in the future? Could blockchain provide a solution? The speakers attended such questions at a SIGS event. Another question also discussed was when quantum computers would be ready for production at all.
Abstract of the speeches
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