Eradicate Certificate Expiry With Certificate Lifecycle Automation Solution

Digital certificates are the face of your enterprise online. When a customer visits your application, these certificates help determine their first impression of your enterprise and often dictate their relationship and level of trust with you in the future. 

What to look for in an Automated Certificate Lifecycle Management Solution

Are you tired of constantly managing and monitoring these crucial pieces manually? Do you feel it would have helped to install the certificates once and forget about them? Wouldn’t it save you time to have digital certificates that would never expire?

At the outset, it might look simple. However, the truth is that there are many prying eyes on your digital certificates. 

Infinitely valid certificates make you prone to theft, a significant problem plaguing the SSH key industry worldwide. Hackers can gain access to your digital certificates via a third-party application’s vulnerabilities, invalidating your stolen certificates the moment they expire. The financial damage in this scenario outweighs the damage caused by an outage due to certificate expiry.  Hence, it is crucial to manage and monitor certificates diligently from the time they are installed. Security teams must force regular certificate expirations to protect their infrastructure with the strongest encryption available. These teams should enable efficient certificate management practices to ensure on-time renewals, thereby preventing expiry-related outages.

The Importance of Automating Certificate Infrastructure

Prevention of application outages

Maintain an inventory of all certificates, their expiry dates, and the locations where certificates are being used. Automate processes for getting the certificate renewed from certificate authority (CA) and provisioning it into the application well before expiry. Updating the certificate without human touch avoids delays and errors and eliminates outages.

Easy 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 adhere to compliance standards.

Cost savings from reduced operational overhead and less infrastructure

Enterprises can set up a robust and secure CA hierarchy and other crypto policies without investing in costly public key infrastructure (PKI) hardware or scarce security professionals.

Team agility and self-service

End-to-end automation of PKI and certificate lifecycle management (CLM) processes eliminate manual delays and errors, reduce operational burden, and make the entire process agile. With granular access control, a central team can empower application teams for their certificate operations. Even after enabling self-service for application teams, a central unit can keep the oversight and control so that everyone adheres to corporate policies.

Four Valuable PKI Use Cases in Modern Digital Enterprises

What to look for in an Automated Certificate Lifecycle Management Solution?

Certificate Discovery

Discover certificates from various devices and applications across hybrid cloud or multicloud environments. Unauthenticated network scans and authenticated scans of devices, CA accounts, and cloud accounts help discover as many certificates as possible. 

Central Inventory 

All certificates distributed into various devices and applications across hybrid cloud or multicloud environments come under central inventory. This central inventory provides insights into certificate expiry timelines as well as crypto standards being used for PKI. This insight helps avoid application outages by renewing on time and helps prevent data breaches by regular enhancement of crypto standards.

Granular 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. Certificates can be tagged with additional metadata and can be grouped according to business need, application, or team for easy management of access and policies. User management and access control become further simple after integrating with corporate user identity and access management system.

Secure Key Management

Invest in a solution that generates keys either on the target machine or the hardware security module (HSM). Automated certificate lifecycle processes further eliminate the need for human access to the key – this avoids key roaming and any potential key compromises. 

Alerting, reporting, and logging

The solution needs to have built-in alerts for various events like upcoming certificate expiry. Get a holistic view of certificates and keys and their respective device associations via a centralized dashboard. This view should provide you with the certificate’s chain of trust and all connected devices with intuitive single-click actions that trigger all lifecycle automation workflows (like renewing and pushing). 

End-to-end automation

Automate the entire business process right from issuance/renewal of certificates to provisioning/binding of certificates to the application using the certificate. This automation not just saves time and effort but also avoids manual errors as well as potential compromises. 

AppViewX can help

AppViewX 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. 

Do you want to manage your machine identities better?

Tags

  • certificate lifecycle management
  • Certificate Management
  • SSL Certificate Lifecycle 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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