Certificate lifecycle management is the backbone for enabling robust encryption implementations. A well-established certificate management system can manage everything from encryption to authentication to ensuring email and file integrity.
However, managing certificates is far from a cakewalk. That explains why many organizations today unknowingly operate with subpar certificate management systems that jeopardize their entire digital security infrastructures. If that’s your situation right now, fret not because you’re about to get a lasting reprieve. Below, we explore four ways your current certificate management system may be faltering and what you can do about it.
1. You’re Experiencing Obscured Visibility
Does your current certificate lifecycle management program establish and maintain clear visibility across all TLS/SSL certificates? If your answer isn’t an outright yes, then that’s a glaring weakness. You need to be able to see all the certificates you have issued, plus who they were issued by and when they expire. In other words, you need a complete inventory.
Solution: The surest and perhaps the quickest way to seal this loophole is to utilize an automated certificate manager. For example, with a tool such as Sectigo, not only can you automate the issuance and management of digital certificates, but you can also view and track each one of them effectively to eliminate the risk of rogue or outdated certificates.
2. There’s A Conspicuous Lack Of Automation
The days of treating automation as a nice-to-have option are long gone. Today, it’s an absolute must-have, a necessity. As with any form of automation, automating your certificate management system improves efficiency and eliminates the potential for human error. Sadly, most businesses take the issue of automated certificate management with a pinch of salt.
If that’s you right now, then it’s time for a course correction. For starters, the number of machine identities you were managing a few years ago is just a fraction of what you need today. Plus, earlier machine identities didn’t need to be updated and changed as often as they do now. To make matters worse, in the past, unmanaged machine identities weren’t targeted as frequently by cyber criminals as they are now. Clearly, something needs to change.
Solution: Automate your certificate lifecycle management processes in their entirety. It’s that simple.
3. You’re Still Using Outdated Algorithms, Protocols, And Ciphers
Have you noticed any scalability issues in your PKI certificate management infrastructure lately? If your answer is yes, then there’s definitely a problem. PKI must be viable and scalable, and you can’t achieve that if you’re stuck with age-old protocols like SHA-1, SSL 3.0, and TSL 1.1.
Solution: Research and choose the correct algorithms and ciphers for your PKI certificate management system. SHA-2 and TLS 1.3 are the most recent, most secure protocols out there.
4. Your Admins And Consumers Are Not Aware Of The Importance Of Managing Certificates
Too many certificate owners and consumers are sleeping on their laurels. Chances are, you’ve been part of this bandwagon before, and if you’re not proactive enough, you could be a victim soon.
Solution: Enforce policy at the enterprise level to cover all possible certificate owners and consumers, such as network admins, DevOps, IT staff, PKI admins, and security teams. Ideally, the policy should define the roles and responsibilities of each party. What’s more, certificate issuance and renewal must be standardized, and an early warning system must be set up to send expiration alerts to certificate owners. Finally, policies should be in place for seamless certificate revocation and removal.
Level Up Your Certificate Management System Today
To avoid all the aforementioned weaknesses, endeavor to have a certificate management system that allows you to actively manage all your certificates from a single console. The benefit of this is that you won’t tie your organization’s security posture to any single CA vendor. Plus, you’ll be well-equipped to implement consistent security policies across all machine identities—a surefire way to steer clear of bad actors once and for all.