What is a Smartkey?
Smartkeys replace both passphrase- and certificate-based encryption, and makes PK Protect unique. A Smartkey is a collection of encryption keys tied to an access control list (ACL). The ACL defines who can decrypt the data contained in an archive.
You can encrypt one or more files with a Smartkey, or the entire archive.
A Smartkey bundles these three items around your files to help secure your data:
- Session key: PK Protect generates this AES256 symmetric key that encrypts the data with 32 bytes of random, unique characters
- Asset key: This AES256 key encrypts all session keys that are part of this Smartkey (that is, created by this user in this archive using this Access Control List)
- ACL: One or more email addresses that are allowed to decrypt and use the data associated with this Smartkey
Community keys are Smartkeys maintained by your company's PEM Administrators to facilitate encrypted data sharing within your company. They typically consist of members of Active Directory groups, but can include specific users outside those groups. If, for example, you want to send data to your Sales group, a Sales group will appear in the list of available certificates in the Encryption dialog.