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Implicit Certificates vs. Conventional Certificates

As devices proliferate and become more mobile, managing relationships between them is critical. Devices will move in and out of range of each other and can interact using wireless protocols and peer-to-peer connections, taking advantage of temporary or semi-permanent secure connections to share information and access services. There are many vertical applications for high level security using our technology that can be implemented efficiently, effectively and to conserve bandwidth. For example, applications using Near Field Communications (NFC), Smart Energy and Vehicle-to-Vehicle communications are well suited to our technology. The later example has the potential to require the largest Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) every implemented. More will be said about this later in the article.

Using digital certificates is considered the known-best method of establishing identity in network communications. A certificate provides a binding between identity information and a public key; a key pair can subsequently be used for key exchange to set up secured communications and for digital signatures to validate transactions. Digital certificates (or certificates for short) are an integral component of what is commonly referred to as a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

However, digital certificates can represent a substantial investment both in infrastructure (to protect the keys used), memory (to store and manipulate the certificate), and bandwidth (in repeatedly transferring the certificates to various entities). Implicit certificates, widely known and studied by the cryptographic community, are rapidly becoming the certificates of choice for the emerging PKIs. They require less bandwidth and less computing power to provide the basic underpinnings for modern PKIs. Implicit certificates enable a low-resource trust model for resource-constrained settings, ad hoc networks and applications requiring printed certificates. These types of applications are now emerging, and are mainly due to our investment in time and money to educate people to the benefits that this technology provides.

Conventional certificates as issued by companies such as Verisign (now Symantec), Entrust and GoDaddy will not work in these new applications.

Read more in our free whitepaper on Implicit Certificates vs. Conventional Certificates.

About this Blog

The TrustPoint Innovation Blog covers security industry topics relating to Certificates, Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communication, Near Field Communication (NFC), Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communication, and more.

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