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Glossary of Terms


The process of reliably determining the identity of a communicating party. Identity can be proven by something you know (such as a password), something you have (such as a private key or token), or something intrinsic about you (such as a fingerprint).

CA (Certificate Authority)

A server, in a trusted organization, which issues digital certificates. The CA manages the issuance of new certificates and revokes certificates that are no longer valid for authentication. A CA may also delegate certificate issuance authority to one or more intermediate CAs creating a chain of trust. The highest level CA certificate is referred to as the trusted root.

digital certificate

An integral part of a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure). Digital certificates (also called X.509 certificates) are issued by a certificate authority (CA), which ensures the validity of the information in the certificate. Each certificate contains identifying information about the certificate owner, a copy of the certificate owner's public key (used for encrypting and decrypting messages and digital signatures), and a digital signature (generated by the CA based on the certificate contents). The digital signature is used by a recipient to verify that the certificate has not been tampered with and can be trusted.


Encryption is the process of scrambling data by use of a secret code or cipher so that it is unreadable except by authorized users. Encrypted data is far more secure than unencrypted data.

Java keystore

A Java keystore is used for storage and transportation of certificates and associated private keys. Use the Java keytool utility to manage keystore files.


PKCS (Public Key Cryptography Standards) is a set of standards devised and published by RSA laboratories that enable compatibility among public key cryptography implementations. Different PKCS standards identify specifications for particular cryptographic uses. Configuring certificates for FileXpress Gateway you may work with the following PKCS file types.

PKCS#7 can be used to sign and/or encrypt messages. It can also be used to store certificates and to disseminate certificates (for instance as a response to a PKCS#10 message). Files in this format typically use a *.p7b extension.

PKCS#10 is used for certificate requests to a Certificate Authority (CA).

PKCS#12 is used for storage and transportation of certificates and associated private keys. Files in this format typically use a *.pfx or *.p12 extension.

X.509 certificate

See digital certificate.