Who is Responsible for Certificate Management?

Certificate-related issues remain one of the biggest security concerns for the modern enterprise. And despite a rapid advancement of new technologies that rely heavily on PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) for security and authentication, most organizations admit to not having an adequate system for managing their PKI, as well as the digital certificates that bind public keys to their authorized users.

2023 EMA Report: SSL/TLS Certificate Security-Management and Expiration Challenges

Not surprisingly, when something goes wrong – resulting in an outage or a security breach – it inevitably leads to finger-pointing and ownership dilemmas. Who is responsible for protecting and governing the digital certificates? Which teams have the knowledge to keep the public key infrastructure healthy? Who has the expertise to develop, implement and maintain an ironclad security policy around issuing certificates? And most importantly, who has the bandwidth to maintain PKI requirements on top of all the other demands that companies already place on their IT teams?

Typically, the entire PKI infrastructure in an organization is governed by the security team, while the management of certificates is delegated to a dedicated PKI team. That is – if an organization is large enough to be able to afford one. If not, which is almost always the case, the tasks of issuing, reviewing, troubleshooting and renewing certificates falls on other IT teams, including application, network, and DevOps teams, who are already overloaded with the myriad tasks required to keep the enterprise and its users up and running. Without a team of dedicated, knowledgeable individuals who are proficient in both technical and policy aspects of PKI infrastructure management, an urgent issue, like an expired certificate, can cause hours, if not days of chaos, causing the business to lose money and depleting customers’ trust in their ability to handle security issues.

Outsourcing PKI management could certainly be an option, but using a managed service can be expensive. Certain organizations have stringent policies in place that do not allow the control of PKI infrastructure to leave the premises, and rightly so – PKI is critical and requires high levels of security considerations (usually, Service Criticality 1 is established). Again, this places the burden of deploying and maintaining certificates on internal teams. Many tools exist to help with certificate management, but they often don’t integrate with other IT solutions. Others require advanced knowledge of programming, PKI, or both – which may not be readily available within the network or DevOps teams. Furthermore, the digital era creates a tremendous need for certification lifecycle automation workflows that cater to industry needs such as DevOps, and integration with self-service tools like ITSM is an absolute necessity in order to satisfy the needs of end users, which conventional certificate management methods fail to accomplish.

AppViewX was designed to make the process of certificate lifecycle management effective and painless for organizations of all types and sizes. Our low-code CLM automation tool lets you simplify the management of your certificates using pre-built tasks and workflows. AppViewX solutions integrate with ITSM tools, such as BMC Remedy and ServiceNow to incorporate tasks such as creating a ticket or pushing a configuration into an automated workflow, which fits right into different teams’ daily operations. Plus, we offer the option to enable self-service catalogs which would allow teams to handle certificate-related requests without intervention from a dedicated team.

Certificate Management is an essential task for any organization, but even without a dedicated team, you can build advanced management practices and workflows that would allow you to stay on top of your certificate’s status and never miss an expiration date again.

To learn more about AppViewX and how it can help your team create solid CLM practices, contact us to schedule a demo or sign up for a free trial.

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  • certificate lifecycle management
  • Certificate Management
  • SSL Certificate Lifecycle Management

About the Author

Anand Purusothaman

Chief Technology Officer

Anand has more than 15 years of experience in the IT industry, specifically in product design and development.

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