Self-Paced Introduction to Certificates and Keys Online Training


Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), certificates, and keys are fundamental to internal and external network security. This course is targeted at individuals who have limited or no knowledge of PKI but need to incorporate certificates and keys into their responsibilities. It starts by describing PKI in an easy-to-understand manner and then does a deep dive into certificate concepts and practical functionality. 

SKU: PKI003 Categories: ,


We offer group and corporate-wide subscription based enrollment options for our online courses. Offering on-going access to training on demand, for a set number of seats per year. Details available here.

Course Description: This course will be delivered electronically in a self-paced environment. You will receive access to download the student materials, lab manual, and supporting materials. The course will feature video, audio, and slide-based content. It will cover all of the same topics and lessons as our in-person courses. Featuring instructional video content plus 4 interactive labs.

Digital Certificates and the Public Key Infrastructures that issue them are critical prerequisites in providing a means of securing data and communications. This course is a first step in demystifying certificates and keys and how they can be leveraged. There is a strong emphasis on security, best practices, and hands-on skills labs.

This comprehensive in-person hands-on training class introduces the concepts and practical functionality of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and X.509 Certificates.  It is targeted at those with general, limited, or no PKI knowledge and is ideal for people who need to quickly get up to speed on PKI or fill in gaps in their existing PKI knowledge. The class provides an extensive description of how PKI works and the practical knowledge that IT staff and developers can apply in their current and future careers.

We start with the fundamentals of PKI and go in-depth to describe the key concepts of PKI such as Certificates, public/private keys, certificate authorities, CA trust, certificate revocation, best practices, and how to launch PKI in your organization.

Target Audience: This course is recommended for anyone using, managing, or deploying digital certificates and the public and private keys associated with them, regardless of what certificate service providers are used.

Course details: Download here.

Once enrolled, you will have unlimited access to the course material for 90 days to complete at your own pace. Corporate subscriptions are not time-limited.

Class Syllabus


  • PKI Explained
    • Why PKI?
    • Purposes of PKI
  • Certificate Core Concepts
    • 500 Distinguished Name (DN)
    • Standard File Encodings
  • Private & Public Key Pairs
    • Public Key Cryptography
    • Private & Public Key Pair Creation
    • Key Pair Validation
    • File Formats
    • Private & Public Key Tips & Tricks
    • LAB: Private, Public Key Pairs & Encryption
  • Digital Signatures
    • Functionality
    • Hashing
    • Digital Signature Processes
  • Digital Certificates
    • What is a Digital Certificate?
    • Digital Certificate Use Cases
  • Digital Certificate Anatomy
    • Anatomy
      •  Payload
      • Signature
  • Digital Certificate Extensions

Standard Digital Certificate Extensions

        • Standard Key Usage
        • Extended Key Usage
        • Most Common Certificate Types
    • Digital Certificate Subject Alternative Names
      • Overview
      • SAN for Computer Subjects
      • Tips & Tricks
      • LAB 2: Certificate Dissection
    • Digital Certificate Standard File Formats
      • PKCS#7
      • PKCS#12
      • Certificate Files on Linux
    • Certificate Summary - Key Concepts


  • PKI Ecosystem
    • Subject Entities (End Entity)
    • Certificate Consumers (Relying Party)
    • How Certificate Trust Works
  • Certificate Authorities (CA)
    • Overview
    • CA Subject Validation
    • CA Hierarchy
    • Commercial/Public CAs
    • Enterprise CAs
    • Certificate Management Systems
  • PKI Processes
    • Certificate Creation
      • Certificate Signing Request (CSR) PKCS#10
      • LAB: Certificate Signing Request
    • The Last Mile Challenge
      • The Challenge
      • Solutions for Linux
      • Solutions for Windows
    • Certificate Renewal
      • How it Works
      • Tips & Tricks
      • LAB: Create Certificate
    • Certificate Revocation
      • What is Revocation
    • Certificate Revocation
      • How it Works
      • Certificate Revocation List (CRL)
      • OCSP
      • Comparison of CRL vs OCSP
      • LAB: Configure Web Servers
    • Time Stamping
      • How it Works
      • Trusted Time Stamping Creation
      • Trusted Time Stamping Validation
  • PKI Best Practices
    • Best Practices for Keys
    • Best Practices for Certificates


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