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Storage of private key

Digital Signature Certificates Storage of Private Key

SI. No Storage Media Advantages Disadvantages
1. Computer Hard Disk Easiest 1. Computer must be maintained in a secure fashion (access should be restricted etc.)

2.Any backups token must also be protected is a similar way as they will contain a copy of the private key.
2. Floppy 1. Easy to use
2. Can be carried on person
1. Private key can be taken out of floppy.

2. Floppy may get corrupted.

3. The device does not contain any cryptographic module built into it to enable the creation of secure digital signature.

4. In case of Floppy the private key can be overwritten.
3. CD-R/RW 1. Easy to use
2. Can be carried on person
1. Private key can be taken out of the CD-R/RW.

2. CD-R/RW may get corrupted.

3. The device does not contain any cryptographic module build into it to enable the creation of secure digital signature.

4. In case of CD-RW the private key can be overwritten.
4. Pen Drives / USB Drives/Flash Drives 1. Easy to use
2. Can be carried on person
1. Private key can be taken out of the USB drive.

2. The device does not contain any cryptographic module build into it to enable the creation of secure digital signature.

3. In case of USB Drive the private key can be overwritten.
5 Smart Cards 1. Once generated on the Smart card the private key does not come out of the device in its original form.

2. The smart card has a clip built into it, Which has crypto modules to enable the signing /encryption/decryption operation to happen in the card itself.
1. Requires a smart card reader to be attached to the computer.

2. Cost is More.
6 USB Crypto Tokens 1. Once generated on the USB crypto token the private key does not come out of the devices in its original form.

2. The USB crypto token has crypto modules to enable the signing/encryption/decryption operation to happen in the token itself.

3. Does not required any special reader, can be used on any machine since USB ports are available on almost all PCs.
1. Cost is More.

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