A digital certificate is an electronic document which makes the link between the identity of an entity (example: name / first name / email address of a natural person, or name / address / SIRET number of a legal person, or URL of a website ...) and a public key. This information is signed by a certification authority. This signature thus proves the authenticity of the certificate.
Banque de France, as the Certification Authority, issues digital certificates in order to secure exchanges with its partners thanks to authentication, signature or even encryption functions.
- The authentication service makes it possible to ascertain the identity of a person accessing a protected resource.
- The signature service makes it possible to guarantee that information has been created by a person and has not been modified since.
- The encryption service ensures that an exchange of information between two correspondents remains confidential.
Digital certificates are files offering their holder cryptographic functions of high confidence level. The cryptographic elements can be presented in software form (protected by a password) or in hardware form (smart card, smart key, for a very high level of security). The certificate supply process is secure and ensures that certificates are delivered securely to their holders.