Security, in Information centric systems, is based upon encryption and access control technologies such as digital rights management systems. Encryption prevents information leakage while the information is in transit between one system and another or is residing in one location, while rights management systems prevent unauthorized duplication of information while it is in use. (Contos, Crowell, Derodeff, Dunkel, & Cole, 2007)
Use of public key infrastructure (PKI) is slowly gaining widespread use in organizations to ensure confidentiality of information and authentication and non-repudiation of users (Contos, Crowell, Derodeff, Dunkel, & Cole, 2007).
A PKI is a framework composed of several different components and policies that act in concert to provide information security. A PKI is based upon the creation of a Certification authority (CA), which is an individual or group that has been authorised by an organization to issue digital certificates to the users of its systems. The CA also has the authority to revoke certificates that it has issued (Contos, Crowell, Derodeff, Dunkel, & Cole, 2007).
A digital certificate is an electronic document containing information identifying a particular user that is issued by the Certification Authority. The certificate it is bound by the user’s public key. A public key is widely published encryption key for a certain person that can be used to encrypt document which can be decrypted by that person alone using their private key. A digital signature is created when a document is encrypted with a person’s private key. Such a document can be decrypted by anyone possessing the corresponding public key. Digital signatures are used to verify that an encrypted document indeed came from the person it claimed to be from (Contos, Crowell, Derodeff, Dunkel, & Cole, 2007).
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