Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a system that manages public and private keys, digital certificates and other related security issues. It can help increase your company’s security by encrypting data, authenticating email messages and digitally signing documents. PKI isn’t a new technology, but it’s an extremely effective tool for any company concerned with the newest cybersecurity threats, such as ransomware, human error, financial pretexting, phishing, and external attackers.
VPNs may significantly improve security by using a PKI to secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) environments. Because cryptographic keys are not affected by social engineering or readily stolen, requiring a certificate to authenticate to a VPN provides a greater level of security. If you haven’t implemented the two-way security method, these seven unknown benefits of PKI should be enough to help you reach the final decision.
1. Increased Security for Your Company’s Data
PKI can help encrypt your company’s data, making it more difficult for unauthorized individuals to access. According to helpnetsecurity.com, the number of phishing attacks surged to 260,000 in Q3, 2021 alone, and most of them linked to email phishing. PKI can also help authenticate email messages and digital documents, ensuring that the information comes from a trusted source. This can help reduce the likelihood of fraud or identity theft.
2. Improved Employee Morale
Encryption tools can help protect employees from identity theft when they conduct online personal business on company time. It can also help protect them from unintentional disclosure of confidential information. And this is one of the most prominent factors why many companies are now offering PKI Training to their employees.
3. Encryption of Email Messages and Documents
PKI can help encrypt your company’s email messages and digital documents, making it more difficult to access unauthorized individuals. This encryption means that the information is unreadable by anyone who does not have permission to read it. PKI protects your emails against hackers, spam filters and even government surveillance programs like PRISM, which were revealed in 2013 thanks to Edward Snowden. By using a system of public-private key pairs, only the intended recipients will be able to decrypt these encrypted files.
4. Compliance with Government Regulations (HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc.)
Many government regulations now require the use of PKI to ensure that your company is following all security guidelines. For example, HIPAA requires covered entities and business associates to meet certain standards for electronic transactions involving patient data, including using a public key infrastructure or other technology with comparable functionality.
PCI DSS also requires merchants to encrypt cardholder information. At the same time, it’s being transmitted over open networks and any storage of this sensitive personal information on servers not managed by the merchant.
5. Increased Efficiency and Productivity
PKI can help reduce the amount of spam email messages your employees receive, saving them time and energy to wade through these emails. It can also help reduce the number of fraudulent or malicious websites your employees may visit, protecting their computer systems from being infected with malware or ransomware. In addition, PKI can help improve employee morale by protecting their privacy and preventing them from becoming victims of identity theft.
6. More Secure and Reliable Cloud Services
A Public Key Infrastructure can help make your company’s data more secure when stored in the cloud by helping to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to this information. PKI also helps reduce the risk of unauthorized disclosure or modification, ensuring that all changes are made with proper authorization from management. This makes it possible for employees to work remotely without exposing any sensitive business information on unsecured public WiFi networks, which is not safe if you send patient billing information online. In addition, PKI ensures better security and reliability for companies using Microsoft Exchange Online and Office 365. These systems depend heavily on email communication so having a properly set up PKI system is critical for preventing service interruptions.
7. Efficient and Secure Communication Between Companies and their Customers/Partners
PKI can help make your company’s communication more secure and reliable with customers, partners and suppliers. It ensures privacy because only the intended individuals have access to this information. In addition, PKI protects against fraudulent emails coming from imposters trying to steal identities by masquerading as a legitimate business partner or supplier.
Bonus Benefit: Integrity of your Company’s Data
PKI helps protect your company’s data integrity by verifying that it has not been tampered with while in transit. This can be critical for companies that rely on promptly processing transactions, such as those in the financial services and healthcare industries.
The web of trust is a widely accepted, decentralized method for authenticating people and systems that runs on top of the public-key infrastructure (PKI) in Transport Layer Security (TLS)/Secure Socket Layer. The client obtains a certificate and validates it to ensure its authenticity when communicating with a server over the Internet using TLS/SSL. The server then encrypts the traffic coming in and out using asymmetric encryption. The digital certificate contains information such as the certificate’s validity period, issuer, certificate holder, public key, and signature algorithm. PKI provides several benefits to companies looking to protect their data, communications and employees, so it’s no wonder that this technology is being adopted by more businesses every day.