Definition: The words, Public Key, are associated with an encryption method that provides for security of highly sensitive online communications and electronic commerce. The phrase refers to only one half of a code pair and is published in the open and known to everyone. The other half of the encryption pair is known as the “private key”. The two halves are used in conjunction with one another which enhances the protection scheme. The encryption scheme is referred to as RSA. Certain standards are set for the format and content by the RSA division of the EMC2 Corporation.
Its Relevance: Owners of information systems should address how the public encryption scheme is to be implemented. The creation andf the use of both portions of the PKI encryption process need to be utilized in the organization’s information security policies.