Webopedia Staff
Last Updated May 24, 2021 7:52 am
Short for public key infrastructure, a system of digital certificates, Certificate Authorities, and other registration authorities that verify and authenticate the validity of each party involved in an Internet transaction. PKIs are currently evolving and there is no single PKI nor even a single agreed-upon standard for setting up a PKI. However, nearly everyone agrees that reliable PKIs are necessary before electronic commerce can become widespread.

A PKI is also called a trust hierarchy.