Certificate discovery provides visibility into all the certificates used in the origination. Inventory of certificates helps analyze certificates for crypto security standards as well as for expiry dates. This prevents security breaches and application outages.
Why is Certificate Discovery important?
Visibility is the cornerstone of any protection mechanism. Yet, most enterprises still have little to no visibility into their certificate infrastructure. Most of the information that ensures complete visibility (such as the number of certificates in use, their locations, their expiration dates, and their ownership details) are either improperly documented or not documented at all when managed manually in spreadsheets. Even when they are documented, the high risk of human error impacts the accuracy of the inventory.
Most of the digital communication is now moved to secure channels and requires digital certificates. While getting a proper certificate involves time and money, technology helps create self-signed certificates for testing purposes. Anyone with great ease can generate these self-signed certificates.
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, application owners deploy certificates that the centralized security groups or public key infrastructure (PKI) admins might not know or have an inventory of. 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 most challenging 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 accurately capture information such as locations, owners, associated applications, expiry dates, and signatures to eliminate breaches.
Certificate discovery provides holistic visibility into digital certificates from various devices and applications across hybrid cloud or multicloud environments. Unauthenticated network scan as well as authenticated scan of devices, certificate authority (CA) accounts and cloud accounts are used to discover as many certificates as possible.