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CompTIA Security+ All-in-One Exam Guide, Third Edition by Chuck Cothren, Roger Davis, Dwayne Williams, Gregory White, Wm. Arthur Conklin

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Centralized or Decentralized Infrastructures

Keys used for authentication and encryption within a PKI environment can be generated in a centralized or decentralized manner. In a decentralized approach, software on individual computers generates and stores cryptographic keys local to the systems themselves. In a centralized infrastructure, the keys are generated and stored on a central server, and the keys are transmitted to the individual systems as needed. You might choose one type over the other for several reasons.

If a company uses an asymmetric algorithm that is resource-intensive to generate the public/private key pair, and if large (and resource-intensive) key sizes are needed, then the individual computers may not have the necessary processing ...

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