Non-profit, member-based IT support for research & educational institutions

Why do I want to run a Certification Authority on my campus?

You may want to run your own campus CA to support a wide range of applications more securely than the security provided by user name and password. Security is best managed if it is assumed that the network cannot be secure.

If you establish a CA on your campus, you can use digital certificates to manage student, faculty, and staff access to virtually any campus web application and resource - from logging on to register for classes, to access library or class resources, to submit homework assignments, to review grades or financial aid information. Digital certificates can even be used for controlling access to buildings or rooms with a digital certificate embedded in a token (like an access card). Holders of digital certificates can also use these certificates to sign email, providing more secure campus communications.

Learn about PKI Applications Under Consideration by visiting You can also visit the HEPKI-TAG site. You will have to scroll down the page to the "Information and Suggestions for Institutional PKI Implementors" area.