A recent ECAR report identified public key infrastructure (PKI) as one of the 10 “least familiar" technologies in the higher education IT environment. This post explores several points of confusion when it comes to understanding PKI and PKI implementations on campus.
BiographyBarry Ribbeck is the Director of Systems Architecture, Infrastructure, Cloud Strategies and Initiatives at Rice University. He plays a significant role in Enterprise Directory services, middleware development, integration of university wide applications, Identity and Access Management, cloud strategies and initiatives. He is a past co-chair of the NET@EDU Identity Management working group, sat on the Higher Education Bridge Policy Authority (HEBCA) and US Higher Education Root (USHER) Policy Board and participates in various working groups within Internet 2 and Educause. Barry completed an undergraduate in mathematics in Louisiana and a master's degree in Biomedical Statistics at The University of Texas and maintains certifications in networking (Cisco), ITIL and security (CISSP).
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.
Four case studies were undertaken in the course of this project with partial funding from an Extending the Reach (ETR) grant from the National Science Foundation Middleware Initiative-Enterprise and Desktop Integration Technologies (NMI-EDIT) Consortium.