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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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The Basics of Public Key Infrastructures

A PKI provides all the components necessary for different types of users and entities to be able to communicate securely and in a predictable manner. A PKI is made up of hardware, applications, policies, services, programming interfaces, cryptographic algorithms, protocols, users, and utilities. These components work together to allow communication to take place using public key cryptography and asymmetric keys for digital signatures, data encryption, and integrity. (Refer to Chapter 4 if you need a refresher on these concepts.) Although many different applications and protocols can provide the same type of functionality, constructing and implementing a PKI boils down to establishing a level of trust. ...

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