Thales Blog

UK Government PKI And Digital Certificates

April 25, 2016

Public key cryptography has become pervasive as a way to protect users, networks, data, and critical business systems. E-commerce, online banking, internet gaming, smartphones, and cloud computing all rely on the use of digital certificates to represent the digital identity of users, connected devices, web services, and business applications.

As new applications are brought on-line, not attending to the performance aspects of signing activities associated with issuance and validation checking can result in significant business impact.

With the revision of the UK Government Security Classifications Scheme, there is a growing expectation, within UK government, that modern UK manufactured, enterprise, cryptographic products can be employed successfully to protect IT systems at the UK SECRET tier.

There already exist UK government (MoD) guidelines describing how Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) solutions can be enhanced through the use of hardware currently employed in the enterprise community. As an example, The UK Ministry of Defence - Public Key Infrastructure Certificate Policy recommends the use of Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) to secure the keys of PKI based systems.

Thales is investing in research and development to help mature candidate technologies in this area. The Thales Trust programme delivers solutions to meet the evolving requirements of customers with secure key management, connectivity, Gateway solutions and advanced cryptographic technologies.

As part of its Trust innovation programme, Thales is strategically investing in:

  • Adapting Thales commercial enterprise cryptographic capabilities for government and critical national infrastructure
  • Developing next generation hardware security module technologies
  • Delivering a flexible Digital Trust Infrastructure
  • Conducting advanced research into secure mobile remote access solutions