Definition: The acronym, PKI stands for “Public Key Infrastructure”. It is based upon an encryption scheme and other associated technologies which make it possible to safely conduct online commerce. The public key infrastructure is based upon both a “private key” and a “public key”. The concept includes the idea of digital certificates that validate the legitimacy of a communication. Stated differently, the public key infrastructure provides for the authenticity of the transaction (attribution). Neither party can deny that the communication or transaction occurred.

Its Relevance: The public key infrastructure and its associated technologies make it possible for online business and commerce to be conducted. Small businesses would likely utilize third-party sources to provide for the use of public key infrastructure. How it is to be used should be specified in the organization’s policies.

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