Public Key Infastructure (PKI): Evolving in a Mobile Age
Twenty years ago, PKI technology was introduced amidst a whirlwind of hype and expectation. But due to its cost and complex deployment, it was placed on the back burner for several years as companies waited for a solution that would make it cheaper and easier to implement. This allows organizations a simplified way to ensure authentication, data privacy and integrity, and non-repudiation.
Fast forward two decades and PKI has become a common part of our vernacular thanks in large part to the advent of mobile and cloud technology. While PKI was once an attention-grabber, it is now an IT security game-changer since it is more cost-effective and less complex than ever before.
Thanks to cloud technology, companies can avoid the costly up-front investment typically required to implement PKI into their security plan. Moreover, they can say goodbye to ongoing maintenance and audit costs. The cloud helps reduce the overall cost of IT infrastructure associated with PKI, particularly when you outsource to a trusted provider. It is for these specific reasons that cloud technology has accelerated the growth of PKI into a security solution that makes sense from a financial and technical standpoint.
One of the chief benefits of outsourcing to a hosted PKI service is that in the event of disaster recovery, you can rest assured that your information is safe and still accessible. That is because PKI services are housed and managed in secure facilities with intelligent monitoring software and a comprehensive data backup plan, giving authorized personnel the ability to access accounts remotely and securely.
As the mobile era matures, and more companies continue to access sensitive information through personal electronic devices, there needs to be a way to protect such data from independent third parties. Security must extend beyond basic encryption and secure machine-to-machine communication.
Through the tamper-proof electronic distribution of documents, as well as the ability to sign and encrypt information directly through email, PKI allows information or identities to be secured quickly, simply and flexibly. Executives need to be confident that once information is sent remotely to someone on the other side of the planet, it is actually opened and extracted by that specific person.
PKI can also work to provide a system of checks and balances within a company by allowing the constant audit of authorized users. Therefore, it can help to provide oversight for employees that might use certain information malevolently.