Security

Key Management Techniques for Controlling the Distribution and Update of Cryptographic Keys

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Executive Summary

Key management plays a fundamental role in cryptography as the basis for securing cryptographic techniques providing confidentiality, entity authentication, data origin authentication, data integrity, and digital signatures. The goal of a good cryptographic design is to reduce more complex problems to the proper management and safe-keeping of a small number of cryptographic keys, ultimately secured through trust in hardware or software by physical isolation or procedural controls. Reliance on physical and procedural security (e.g., secured rooms with isolated equipment), tamper-resistant hardware, and trust in a large number of individuals is minimized by concentrating trust in a small number of easily monitored, controlled, and trustworthy elements.

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