Cisco CloudCenter: Get the Hybrid IT Advantage

Public Key Cryptography (PKC)

Definition - What does Public Key Cryptography (PKC) mean?

Public key cryptography (PKC) is an encryption technique that uses a paired public and private key (or asymmetric key) algorithm for secure data communication. A message sender uses a recipient's public key to encrypt a message. To decrypt the sender's message, only the recipient's private key may be used.

The two types of PKC algorithms are RSA, which is an acronym related to this algorithm's inventors: Rivest, Shamir and Adelman and Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA). PKC encryption evolved to meet the growing secure communication demands of multiple sectors and industries, such as the military.

PKC is also known as public key encyrption, asymmetric encryption, asymmetric cryptography, asymmetric cipher and asymmetric key encryption.

Techopedia explains Public Key Cryptography (PKC)

PKC is a cryptographic algorithm and cryptosystem component implemented by a variety of Internet standards, including Transport Layer Security (TLS), Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), GNU Privacy Guard (GPG), Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) websites.

PKC facilitates secure communication through an insecure channel, which allows a message to be read by the intended recipient only. For example, A uses B's public key to encrypt a message to B, which can be decrypted using B's unique private key.

PKC maintains email privacy and ensures communication security while messages are in transit or stored on mail servers. PKC is also a DSA component used to authenticate a private key verifiable by anyone with authorized public key access, which validates message origin and sender. Thus, PKC facilitates confidentiality, data integrity, authentication and nonrepudiation, which form key Information Assurance (IA) parameters.

PKC is slower than secret key cryptography (or symmetric cryptography) methods, due to high computational requirements. Unlike symmetric cryptography, PKC uses a fixed buffer size, depending on particular and small data amounts, which may only be encrypted and not chained in streams. Because a broad range of possible encryption keys are used, PKC is more robust and less suscreptible to third party security breach attempts.

Share this:

Connect with us

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter

The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems:
Learn the benefits and limitations of the 3 generations of IT infrastructure – siloed, converged and hyperconverged – and discover how the 4th...
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization:
Businesses today aspire to achieve a software-defined datacenter (SDDC) to enhance business agility and reduce operational complexity. However, the...
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide:
This white paper is for leaders of Operations, Engineering, or Infrastructure teams who are creating or executing an IT roadmap.
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor:
Virtual Health Monitor is a free virtualization monitoring and reporting tool for VMware, Hyper-V, RHEV, and XenServer environments.
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic:
Turbonomic delivers an autonomic platform where virtual and cloud environments self-manage in real-time to assure application performance.