Setting up SSH Key Pairs

To set up an Employee Data Integration using SFTP you'll need to create an SSH Key Pair. This is to ensure that the SFTP connection via your client/HRIS is unique and secure.

An SSH key pair is a pair of unique keys that are generated by you and saved on your computer.  There's a private key which should only be used by you (or very carefully within your own organisation), and there's a public key which can safely be shared outside your organisation.  The integration uses the combination of the two keys to verify the security of the connection.

First, check that you have the command line tools you need to generate SSH keys:

If you're using a Mac, do this...

  • command + spacebar to search
  • type 'terminal' which opens the native command line tool

If you're using a Windows machine, do this...

  • Select the Start button
  • Type 'cmd' into search bar
  • Select 'Command Prompt' from the list

    > If I don't have a command line tool?  There are free, opensource key generator apps available to download.  A commonly-used tool for generating SSH Key Pairs for Windows is PuTTYgen.

run the command `ssh-keygen -t rsa` to generate a new key pair

> if my computer is not set up to accept this command?  The `ssh-keygen` or `puttygen` apps can be downloaded for free with a search online.

  • When prompted, enter a file path and filename to save the new key pair to, for example `users/firstname.lastname/department-key-pair/[filename]`

    You may be asked for a passphrase.  It's a good idea to set (and keep a record of) a passphrase if you want to, but it's not compulsory: you can hit enter at this step.

NOTE: create a new folder to save your key pair to so that you don't overwrite any existing key pairs you may have saved.

You can now navigate to the file in which your keys are saved, and

> Copy the public key to Culture Amp's Employee Data Integration setup page.

> Copy the private key to your SFTP client setup side.

NOTE: be wary of sharing your private key.  Don't send it anywhere via email, text or through any other insecure means.  Multiple key pairs can be generated so you can choose to have a private key per person/SFTP connection.


Helpful links

Here's an example of how to generate SSH key pairs in a Mac environment

Here's an example of how to generate SSH key pairs in a Windows environment

There's specific information about how to correctly format and save SSH keys here.

The popular SFTP Client Filezilla has helpful documentation about how to set up keys here -



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