Registration Authority or RA used in Public Key Infrastructure is a function for the certificate enrollment. It is responsible for receiving Certificate lifecycle management functions and is even accountable for receiving signing requests certificates from the servers or other applications. It verifies the users’ requests for a digital certificate, and then it tells them to issue it by Certificate Authority (CA).Registration Authority in the public key infrastructure. It is responsible for validating requests for digital certificates. It is a part of the PRI, i.e., public key infrastructure. The Registration Authority makes sure that the pubic key should be bounded to the particular individual; it is assigned to ensure the non-repudiation. Registration authorities add control and management level to create a well-controlled, secure, and trustworthy environment.
What is Certificate Authority (CA)?
A certificate authority known as the certification authority (CA) is an entity that issues digital certificates. A digital certificate certifies the ownership of a public key by the named subject of the certificate. The X.509 format is the most used format for the Public Key Certificates. This allows relying parties to depend on the signatures or on the private key’s assertions that correspond to the certified public key. The certificate trusts a Certificate Authority; therefore, it acts as a trusted third-party and even by the party depending upon the certificate.
It issues digital certificates that contain the identity of the owner and the public key. The matching private key is not publicly available but kept secret by the end-user who generated the key pair. The main task of the Certificates Authority is to issue certificates. This certificate is also a validation or confirmation by the CA that the public key in the certificate belongs to the particular person, organization, or other entity noted in the certificate.
Just as CAs, Registration Authority is often audited, ensuring the validity and legality of the identification process. We can see that In LuxTrust’s, LuxTrust has been a Certificate Authority since its inception in 2005 as in that all of the Registration Authority operations are daily controlled in the frame of the Certification Authority’s internal audits; they have audited only once a year through the onsite missions and in the context of LuxTrust’s annual certification audits. Equipped more than 700,000 customers worldwide with the very trusted digital certificates, the company has probably disposed of an extensive network of RAs in Luxembourg and even abroad.
Registration Authority is a part of a Public key infrastructure (PKI). It is a networked system that allows companies and their users to exchange information and money safe and secure. Its motive is to safely transfer the information for the network activities range like the internet, banking, etc.
The Public Key Infrastructure role that might have been authorized by a Certificate Authority to assure about the valid and correct registration is known as a Registration Authority (RA). An RA is primarily responsible for accepting all the digital certificates’ requests and then verifies the entity is making the request.
Registration Authority is being defined by The Internet Engineering Task Force’s RFC 3647 as “An entity that is responsible for one or more than one of the following functions which are-the identification and verification of the certificate applicants, the approval or rejection of certificate applications, initiating certificate revocations or suspensions under certain circumstances, processing subscriber requests to revoke or suspend their certificates, and approving or rejecting requests by subscribers to renew or re-key their certificates. RAs itself does not sign or issue any certificates.
In the case of Microsoft Standalone CAs, the function of Registration Authority does not even occur since all of the procedures that are managing the CA are basically based on the administration procedure associated with the system representing the CA itself rather than Active Directory. Public Key infrastructure works public-key encryption. Most non-Microsoft commercial PKI solutions offer a stand-alone RA.
While Microsoft has defined it as a RA being the subordinate of CA but it is incorrect according to the X.509 PKI standards as RAs do not have any of the signing authority of a CA; it just manages the provisioning of certificates. So we can say that in the Microsoft PKI case, the RA functionality is provided either by the Microsoft Certificates Services website or through Active Directory Certificate Services, which enforces Microsoft Enterprise CA and certificate policy through certificate templates and manages certificate enrollment (manual or auto-enrollment). In Microsoft PKI, the RA functionality is provided either by the Microsoft Certificates Services website or through Active Directory Certificate Services, which enforces Microsoft Enterprise CA and certificate policy through certificate templates and manages certificate enrollment (manual or auto-enrollment). In Microsoft Standalone CAs, since all of the procedures are controlled by the CA, which are based on the administration and access procedure associate with the system hosting the CA and the CA itself rather than Active Directory. Therefore, the function of RA does not exist. Most non-Microsoft commercial PKI solutions offer a stand-alone RA component.
Registration Authority does not have any of the signing authority of a Certification Authority, and it only manages the access and accounting of certificates.