Digital Certificate Operation in a Complex Environment
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PKI Primer and Project Background

2. Project Background

As outlined on the project home page, project was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and is part of the JISC's Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting Programme.

The AAA programme was directed towards managing access to resources, but this involves a number of processes. The three main areas of interest are:

  • authentication
  • authorisation
  • accounting ("maintaining logs of events for the purpose of generating management information on resource usage")

The first two of these terms are defined and explained later in this primer document. However, this (the DCOCE) project was primarily concerned with authentication. The JISC wished the authentication projects to look at the deployment of digital certificates as "there are reasons for believing that they will become more widespread over time as strong authentication credentials".

Having said this, there are many challenges to using certificates within an institution where there are many operating systems and applications; individuals move around and certificates may need to be issued and revoked constantly.

It is from this background that the DCOCE project emerged.

The next few sections of this PKI Primer address our partners and participants and digital certificates in general before going on to talk about:

Up: Contents Previous: 1. Introduction Next: 3. Project partners and participants

Oxford University Computing Services Mimas Athens access management services Oxfore e-Science Centre Systems and Electronic Resources Service Joint Information Systems Committee