Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is one of the few important tools enterprise security rests on for safe use. It is commonly used by the business to counter bad guys and keep the enterprise data safe.
However, it is believed that traditional PKI has some limitations. A few being the fact that it comes with a great deal of complexity for any enterprise to manage.
Don’t Worry! Help is on the way!
Blockchain technology is emerging to be the foundation for the next-gen applications delivering a new foundation for the enterprises so that their PKI may perform more effectively.
PKI was created for static transactions. However, the modern web evolved throughout the years where everything is based on a client-server as well as cloud model. The old PKI design isn’t having a good time scaling up to a modern, distributed nature of application interactivity.
PKI works due to the digital certificates typically issued by a certificate authority. This reliance on a central authority creates many issues.
- The CAs operate without any formal oversight. Indeed, they are obligated to obey the CA/B forum, but how they distribute the keys depend on their decision. At times, they make questionable choices.
- Owing to the ability to masquerade as another user or a website, CA systems are popular targets for hackers. By breaching them, the malicious practitioners gain access to a treasure trove of financial as well as personal information travelling on the internet
- Also, because a Public Key Infrastructure system is asymmetric, users need to access to a public key. On the other hand, recipients need to have a private key to decrypt the sent information. If a private key is compromised, an attacker gains access to all the data.
Blockchain Addresses Traditional PKI Shortcomings
Since PKI emerged, application design has changed dramatically. With mobility and cloud, employees, when they access computer services, are no longer tied to their desks.
A new foundation is required to secure such applications as there is no simple connection from endpoint to the server. And, the blockchain was built.
Since blockchain runs on thousands of computers simultaneously, its unique design eliminates the risks found with old school PKI systems.
Blockchain has a secure, transparent and open architecture, meaning that anyone on a blockchain can read all of its contents. This unique feature perfectly addresses the potential problems stemming from relying on a 3rd party CA’s actions.
No Need To Trust Duplicitous CAs
Firms don’t need to put their trust in CAs any more who may be error-prone in creating public and private keys. Everything that takes place on a blockchain is available to anyone using it. Thus, if a CA issues keys in someone else’s name, then that information is visible to everyone on the chain.
Information on blockchain is time-stamped, and a record is created each time an update comes. Ultimately, it is clear who did what and when. Altering the source code is impossible. A hacker needs to change every item stored on the blockchain rather than just one record.
Also, the metadata in its database is ‘Read-Only,’ which means that it’s impossible to manipulate it. The solution protects information in a secure distributed fashion and is quite in tune with current needs than the old PKI systems.