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Recommendation for Key Management: Part 2 – Best Practices for Key Management Organizations



Elaine B. Barker, William C. Barker


NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-57 provides cryptographic key management guidance. It consists of three parts. Part 1 provides general guidance and best practices for the management of cryptographic keying material. Part 2 provides guidance on policy and security planning requirements. Finally, Part 3 provides guidance when using the cryptographic features of current systems. Part 2 (this document) 1) identifies the concepts, functions and elements common to effective systems for the management of symmetric and asymmetric keys; 2) identifies the security planning requirements and documentation necessary for effective institutional key management; 3) describes Key Management Specification requirements; 4) describes cryptographic Key Management Policy documentation that is needed by organizations that use cryptography; and 5) describes Key Management Practice Statement requirements. Appendices provide examples of some key management infrastructures and supplemental documentation and planning materials.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-57pt2r1
Report Number


authentication, authorization, availability, backup, certification authority, compromise, confidentiality, cryptographic key, cryptographic module, digital signatures, encryption, integrity, inventory management, key information, key management, cryptographic key management policy, key recovery, private key, public key, public key infrastructure, security plan, symmetric key


Barker, E. and Barker, W. (2019), Recommendation for Key Management: Part 2 – Best Practices for Key Management Organizations, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 21, 2024)


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Created May 23, 2019, Updated May 29, 2019