The Ponemon Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020 states that USD 3.86 M is the average total cost of a data breach, and malicious attacks cause 52% of breaches.
In the modern IT environment, data, applications, and devices are no longer bound by the confines of corporate premises or data centers. They are distributed across multiple private and public clouds and the edge. With network perimeters fading away, traditional security frameworks will no longer function the way they used to, thereby putting enterprise data at risk.
One of the fundamentals of protecting digital identities is a maniacal focus on machine identities. Machine identities are digital certificates that serve as proof of a machine’s authenticity on a network. These certificates help validate machines’ identities and enable them to securely communicate with other devices and applications on the web through encrypted channels.
With valuable data continuously being exchanged between applications in cloud environments, containers, IoT, and mobile devices, it is crucial for organizations to secure this machine-to-machine communication. This is achieved by protecting and diligently managing machine identities, in other words, digital certificates.
While getting a proper certificate requires time and money, technology helps create self-signed certificates for testing purposes. These self-signed certificates can be generated by anyone with great ease. Digital certificates help identify and control who can access and operate on company networks. With an increase in the number of identities in a company, it has become extremely challenging to manage and protect certificates at scale.
Temporary certificates might come with third-party software. These temporary certificates are supposed to work for initial testing purposes and should be replaced before being pushed into production. However, many times because of a slip in the process, these temporary certificates make their way into an organization’s infrastructure without the knowledge of the team managing these certificates.
At times certificates are deployed by application owners that the centralized security groups or public key infrastructure (PKI) admins might not be aware of or maintain an inventory. While rogue, unknown and unmanaged certificates often lead to unplanned application outages, they also serve as easy targets for hackers.
Even for known certificates, many times, the hardest part of mitigating a certificate-related issue is not identifying the certificate, but it is often locating it on time. When a certificate is distributed across multi-cloud, heterogeneous environments, it is necessary to capture information such as locations, owners, associated applications, expiry date, and signatures diligently to eliminate breaches.
Most organizations lack visibility into their certificates. They don’t know where they are, how many there are, and the purpose they’re being used for. Lack of discovery and visibility makes certificate management extremely difficult, leading to unplanned outages, and for every unplanned outage caused by an expired certificate, there are other consequences.
The fact that machine identity management is critical for protecting data is a no-brainer. But, the management of machine identities is an uphill task. Traditional methods fail to meet the demands of identity management in the digital era, and if not replaced, can cause widespread attacks and outages. Visibility, compliance, storage and distribution, and manual management are some of the key challenges of managing machine identities.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and there are organizations currently in the process of upgrading their machine identity management solutions. The key here is to have the right approach depending on where they are in their digital transformation journey. Organizations need to critically evaluate their approaches towards upgrading machine identity management solutions depending on their cloud maturity levels. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to evaluating which solution would be apt for an organization that will add to its security posture.
According to Gartner® Hype Cycle™ for Identity and Access Management Technologies 2021, “For certificates, use full life cycle management and discovery-centric tools to audit the number of deployed machine identities, and to identify the potential risks from expiry and overall compliance. Choose full life cycle machine identity management solutions to drive automation when dealing with large, complex, multivendor certificate environments — especially with multiple certificate-based enterprise use cases such as mobile and the IoT.”
The key question to ask is how security can prove to be an enabler as an organization embarks on its digital transformation journey. The AppViewX Next-Gen Machine Identity Automation Platform is purpose-built to enable zero-trust by streamlining certificate management and making the entire system more flexible, adaptable, and efficient.
The AppViewX platform simplifies public key infrastructure (PKI) and certificate lifecycle management (CLM) operations to bring agility in teams so that they can focus on business innovation and growth. End-to-end automation of PKI and CLM processes eliminates manual delays and errors, reduces the operational burden, and makes the entire process agile. With easy consumption models, the platform helps secure machine identities as a service, on-prem, in the cloud, and on the edge.
Powered by AppViewX CERT+, the enhanced platform addresses security compliance driven by exponential growth in machine identities by eliminating manual management, securing storage and distribution, and ensuring end-to-end visibility.
Download the whitepaper to understand how different solutions provided by AppViewX work together in perfect harmony for orchestrating and governing digital identities. The AppViewX Platform quickly and easily translates business requirements into automation workflows that improve agility, enforce compliance, eliminate errors, and reduce cost.
Click here to download the comprehensive whitepaper on the Vanson Bourne study that focuses on the next generation of machine identity management and the path towards crypto-agility