Cryptographic keys are a vital part of any online security system. They do everything from data encryption and decryption to user authentication. The compromise of any cryptographic key could lead to the collapse of an organization’s entire security infrastructure, allowing the attacker to decrypt sensitive data, authenticate themselves as privileged users, or give themselves access to other sources of classified information.
Proper management of keys and their related components can ensure the safety of confidential information. Key management is the process of putting certain standards in place to ensure the security of cryptographic keys within an organization. Key management deals with the creation, access, exchange, storage, deletion, and refreshing of keys.
Key management forms the basis of all data security. The loss or compromise of any encryption key would invalidate the data security measures put into place. Keys also ensure the safe transmission of data across an Internet. With authentication methods, like code signing, attackers pretend to be a trusted service like Microsoft, while installing malware on a victim’s computer. Standards and regulations are in place to ensure companies use best practices when protecting cryptographic keys.
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