Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) (PKI) is a framework that enables the encryption of public keys and includes their affiliated crypto-mechanisms. Any PKI setup’s purpose is to manage its keys and certificates, thereby creating a highly secure network environment for use by applications and hardware.
As businesses scale and digital transformation take center stage, it becomes crucial to ensure that PKI is managed efficiently, with a healthy dose of automation. You might ask yourself if there is a real need to update your PKI systems. Poorly managed PKI often marks the point of entry for a host of vulnerabilities that could have impacts ranging from lost time to lost revenue.
US mortgage lender discovered the weak link in their PKI In the process of tightening their network-level security structure. The manual management of certificates via spreadsheets resulted in an onslaught of problems, including but not limited to:
Challenge #1: Using spreadsheets to track TLS certificate expirations and renewals was manual and inefficient, leading to frequent outages and downtime.
Consequence: Anomalous effects often follow system downtime – apart from internal inconveniences, outages of customer-facing systems are responsible for loss of business, customer trust, and, more often than not, legal fines.
Challenge #2: The establishment of a hybrid, diversified infrastructure with no real visibility into its workings.
Consequence: A lack of system transparency is synonymous with mismanagement – cluttered arrangements are layered upon each other, adding unwanted complexity. For instance, tasks such as renewals of certificate chains became difficult due to an inability to conveniently locate and document the associated keys.
Challenge #3: The lack of a centralized system to manage certificates across multiple environments and endpoints.
Consequence: Considering the application used by the customer, it was bound to have thousands of certificates across environments. Manual management resulted in the credentials for each certificate being scattered across various documentation methods, making certificate-related operations like renewals and revocations time-consuming and, in some cases, impossible or at least error-prone.
AppViewX CERT+ acted as a single point of control for the entire firm’s network-related processes – from certificate lifecycle automation to vendor integrations for network devices.
- Single-window capabilities for detection, renewal, and revocation helped centralize certificate lifecycle management, permitting documentation and grouping certificates in a single, searchable repository.
- Holistic view functionality provided complete visibility into the PKI associated with every environment or endpoint, permitting effortless, error-free management.
- Automated renewals, graphical reporting, and reminders eliminated certificate expirations, eliminating outages and application downtimes.
- The customer leveraged out-of-the-box vendor integration capabilities to automate network tasks across certificate authorities (CA’s) and endpoints, such as Windows Server, F5, Citrix Netscaler, and AWS.
- Granular role-based access allowed central PKI teams to delegate and self-service tasks such as certificate creation, revocation, and deletion.
The customer realized significant benefits resulting from:
- reduction in application downtimes and certificate-related outages
- increased visibility that boosted process agility and enhanced productivity
- improved workflow efficiency for PKI-related tasks across the organization
Talk to an expert today if you are getting overwhelmed with the management of ever-increasing digital certificates and are constantly worried about cyberattacks or certificate-related incidents.