Public Key Infrastructure: Technology Spotlight


Public key infrastructure (PKI) certificates form the backbone of most if not all Internet security authentication for sites and services and encrypted network transport today. Higher education is heavily invested in the technology used to create and manage these certificates. PKI supports secure data exchange and authentication over the Internet via the distribution and identification of public encryption keys.

This bulletin is one of a series of papers designed to help institutional leaders learn about and understand the implications of emerging technologies in higher education. These technologies have been identified as the least familiar technologies in the ECAR report Higher Education’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2016. Other papers and related resources are available at the research hub for Higher Education’s Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2016.

Citation for this work: Ribbeck, Barry, Paul Caskey, and Ann West. Public Key Infrastructure: Technology Spotlight. Research bulletin. Louisville, CO: ECAR, June 9, 2016.

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