Cryptography allows a person, object, or party to be identified with a high degree of confidence. Authentication is an essential component of a secure system because it allows software and other things to be positively identified. A common scenario for authentication nowadays is in the area of device drivers, where it provides a means of having a driver signed and verified as coming from the actual vendor and not from some other unknown and untrusted source. Authentication in the context of electronic messaging provides the ability to validate that a particular message originated from a source that is a known entity which, by extension, can be trusted.