Cryptographic device – device with a special structure that has integrated cryptographic algorithms (symmetrical and asymmetrical) which allow to securely perform cryptographic actions. The device can be a smartcard or USB token and it contains a cryptographic chip that allows generating keys and implementing cryptographic algorithms.
Key – a piece of information that controls the action of a cryptographic algorithm. The key can be private or public. The private key is used for decrypting encrypted information or for creating a digital signature solely for its owner. The private key is only known to the owner. The public key on the other hand is known to anyone and defines the transformation for signature-verification and for message encryption.
Driver - software that allows the computer to interact with hardware devices.
PIN code – password made up of more characters (letters, numbers, special characters) known only by the person on whose name the digital certificate is issued. It is used for accessing the cryptographic device that stores the digital certificate. The PIN code is different from the management password of the certificate, which is only used for renewing or revoking the certificate.
Certification authority – is a complex system made up of software applications, hardware, and security rules and procedures. All these elements together ensure the issuing and the management of the digital certificates in the best security conditions.