Manage and Automate Certificates Across Hybrid Cloud And Multicloud Environments

There has never been a discussion on the cloud without touching upon its security features, generally perceived as inadequate. While multicloud and hybrid deployments’ distributed nature makes them highly available and resilient, in-house IT teams lose control over data security. 

Enterprises do not favor their root certificates and keys taken away and stored in a remote cloud. Multi-cloud further aggravates these issues. With each cloud provider having its own set of security services and policies, it is arduous to gain holistic visibility and control from a single pane of glass.

Businesses are going increasingly digital. The worldwide spending on digital transformation has been growing steadily. A growing number of web-facing applications makes access to information and services easier for customers while opening doors for cybercriminals. But, let’s ponder about why access to privileged information has become easier for cybercriminals. 

The SSL/TLS certificate – the most common application of the X.509 public key infrastructure specification – uses a public key (certificate) and private key pair to authenticate the identity of the application owner and secure communications between the application the end-user.  SSL/TLS certificates have increased considerably due to the explosion of digital businesses and increased efforts by web browsers to secure the internet. This ubiquity and trust have also attracted the interest of cybercriminals. 

Ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, and other major organizations made headlines in 2021. These attacks resulted in the shutdown of critical infrastructure with spiraling effects like increased cost of goods/services, financial loss due to shutdown of operations, and loss of money resulting from paying a ransom. 

How can organizations protect themselves from such imminent threats?

Machine identity management has become a top priority as organizations evaluate new and alternative approaches to securing a growing, cloud-driven, distributed environment. Digitization has led to massive growth in machines or digital assets, opening up a vast attack surface. Securing these distributed assets and their communication is critical for data security. However, with network perimeter fast disappearing, digital security has become a significant challenge for organizations. 

Four Valuable PKI Use Cases in Modern Digital Enterprises

Enterprises manage thousands of certificates and their private keys in their hybrid network infrastructures. But traditional management techniques like spreadsheets make certificate protection and management complicated.

Key components of a robust certificate protection mechanism

Discover

Discover certificates from various devices and applications. Perform unauthenticated network scan as well as an authenticated scan of devices, certificate authority (CA) accounts, and cloud accounts to discover as many certificates as possible.

Central Inventory & Analytics

The central inventory provides insights into certificate expiry timelines and crypto standards (e.g., cipher strength, key size, TLS protocol version) and helps avoid application outages by renewing on time. 

Protect private keys

Use a central key escrow like an encrypted software vault or a hardware security module (HSM) to ensure maximum protection. Automate certificate lifecycle processes to eliminate the need for human access to the key and avoid key roaming.

Access control

Employ a granular, multi-layer access control approach where access to each functionality in the certificate lifecycle (discovery, monitoring, renewal, issuance, provisioning) can be configured based on a person’s role.

Audit and Compliance

Complete logging of all certificate and configuration change events enables enterprises to go easy for internal and external audits to meet industry compliance. Periodic reports about cryptographic standards and their seamless enhancement help keep up with industry compliance. 

Reports

Reports are a crucial part of any management activity. Traditional management methods are prone to errors since the certificate information maintained in a spreadsheet is often inaccurate. This, in turn, makes the subsequent reports useless. Ensure that you have proper visibility, and this can be achieved by employing tools to regularly discover and update the certificate inventory. 

Once the underlying data becomes error-free, you can extract reports on certificate expiration, non-compliant certificates, or certificates belonging to a particular category, making certificate management and protection easier.

End-to-end automation

Save time and effort and avoid manual errors and potential compromises by automating the entire certificate lifecycle process, from the issuance/renewal of certificates to provisioning/binding of the certificate to the application using the certificate. 

Find the right partner

Invest in an end-to-end automation solution that will provide you with extensive visibility into the certificate and encryption key infrastructure and help prevent data breaches and outages.

AppViewX CERT+ is a turnkey solution for all enterprise PKI needs. CERT+ is a ready-to-consume, scalable, and cost-efficient CLM solution that infuses identity governance and administration as an integral part of your cybersecurity strategy. CERT+ simplifies PKI and certificate management operations to bring agility in teams to focus on business innovation and growth.

Use the right automation tool that will help accelerate your journey towards digital transformation.

Do you want to manage your machine identities better?

Tags

  • Certificate Management
  • PKI
  • PKI management

About the Author

Sanchita Chakraborti

Director, Product Marketing – AppViewX CERT+

Sanchita is a Product Marketer responsible for understanding the industry landscape, buyer personas, their pain points and translating them into compelling value propositions and messaging.

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