Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a comprehensive system that provides public-key encryption and digital signature services across a wide variety of applications. These services include:
- Authentication - The assurance that the information originator and consumer may both be identified uniquely. In the context of electronic messaging systems, it supports additional functionality so that both parties know where the information is coming from and where it is going.
- Confidentiality or Privacy - The assurance that information and data will be protected from unauthorized access.
- Data integrity - The assurance that data has not been accidentally or deliberately altered.
- Non-Repudiation - Provides proof of the integrity and origin of data that can be verified by a third party. Non-repudiation services may provide important legal evidence in the event of a dispute.
By managing keys and certificates through a centrally managed PKI, The Department establishes and maintains a trustworthy networking environment, while at the same time providing an automatic and transparent system that is usable by the customer.