Certification authorities (CAs) issue digital certificates. Digital certificates are small, verifiable data files that contain identifying information that websites, people, and devices can use to prove the authenticity of their identity online (authenticity is guaranteed by verification of their identity by a CA ). CAs play an essential role in the functioning of the Internet and the transparency of online transactions. They issue millions of digital certificates every year that can be used to protect information, encrypt billions of transactions and secure communications.