registration authority (RA)

Definition of registration authority (RA) in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is RA (Registration Authority)?

A company or organization that is responsible for receiving and validating requests for digital certificates and public/private key pairs. A registration authority (RA) is part of the public key infrastructure (PKI).

How It Works

The RA receives a certificate request and verifies the identity of the requestor using acceptable forms of identification, which can be communicated face to face, over the telephone, by mail or courier, or in another secure fashion that is acceptable to the RA. Identification can include a driver’s license, Social Security number, or another unique identifier for the requestor. If the RA approves the request, it contacts the certificate authority (CA) in the PKI and asks it to issue the requestor the desired digital certificate and key pair. The RA and CA are often different entities within the same company or organization.

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