How cryptography and public key infrastructure (PKI) support security objectives and requirements

Security is of paramount importance. With the increasing number of cyberattacks and data breaches, organizations must actively ensure the protection of their systems and networks from malicious actors. One way to achieve this is through the use of cryptography and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). In this blog post, we will explore how cryptography and PKI support security objectives and requirements, and how they can help organizations protect their sensitive data.

How Cryptography and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Support Security Objectives and Requirements

Cryptography: The Foundation of Secure Communication

Cryptography is a method of protecting information by transforming it into an unreadable format known as ciphertext. This process uses complex algorithms and keys to scramble the data, making it unreadable to anyone without the corresponding decryption key. The two main types of cryptography are symmetric and asymmetric.

Symmetric cryptography involves using the same key for both encryption and decryption. This method ensures fast and efficient encryption and decryption, but securely sharing the key between the sender and receiver can pose challenges in large-scale systems.

Asymmetric cryptography, on the other hand, uses two different keys: a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption. This method is more secure, as the private key remains with the owner and does not need to be shared with anyone. Asymmetric cryptography forms the basis of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI): A Secure Framework for Digital Communication

PKI is a set of hardware, software, policies, and procedures that support the use of public key cryptography. It provides a secure framework for digital communication by enabling secure transactions, digital signatures, and secure email exchange. PKI is essential for achieving the following security objectives and requirements:

  1. Confidentiality: PKI ensures that sensitive information remains private by encrypting data using public key cryptography. Only the intended recipient, who possesses the corresponding private key, can decrypt the message and access the information.
  2. Integrity: PKI helps maintain the integrity of data by using digital signatures. A digital signature is an electronic equivalent of a handwritten signature and is used to verify the authenticity and integrity of a message or document. The sender creates digital signatures using their private key and anyone can verify them using their public key.
  3. Authentication: PKI enables secure authentication by issuing digital certificates. A digital certificate is an electronic document that contains a public key and information about the certificate owner. A trusted third party called a Certificate Authority (CA) issues it. When a user wants to verify the identity of another user, they can check their digital certificate to ensure that a trusted CA has issued it.
  4. Non-repudiation: PKI ensures non-repudiation, so the sender of a message cannot deny having sent it. Using digital signatures enables this achievement, as the sender employs their private key to create the signature, maintaining exclusive access to this key. This establishes a binding means of proving the sender’s identity and intent.
  5. Access Control: PKI can implement access control mechanisms, such as role-based access control (RBAC) and attribute-based access control (ABAC). These mechanisms ensure that users only have access to the resources they may use, based on their roles or attributes.


Cryptography and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) play a crucial role in supporting security objectives and requirements in today’s digital landscape. By using these technologies, organizations can protect their sensitive data, maintain the integrity of their systems, and ensure that their communications are secure and trustworthy. As cyber threats continue to evolve, it is essential for organizations to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in cryptography and PKI to maintain a strong security posture.