• Cramer Hussein posted an update 6 months ago

    When PKI and digital certificate management first appear in the annals of enterprise security, they may seem little more than application software. With few exceptions, this software serves no real purpose beyond increasing payroll for those departments that need it or keeping track of who is asking for approved access to company data or technology. Without a shadow of a doubt, many of these applications perform admirably. But for a business that is not prepared to rapidly respond to unauthorized access, or to have its information compromised, these software tools will prove to be a costly misstep. When PKI and digital certificate management go hand-in-hand, the situation gets even worse: The most well-intentioned parties may unintentionally make the situation worse by trying to use them for their own ends.

    For example, one of the primary uses cases for digital certificates is as evidence of authenticity. Issuers of these certificates may issue them in response to specific legal demands. When certificates are required for sensitive positions like access to company information or payroll, the outages that result from unauthorized access can easily create a crisis. Even startups may be confused about which forms should be used in specific circumstances. For these and other reasons, organizations are better served by having their own internal systems in place instead of relying on outside third-party verification services.

    A second, somewhat obvious reason that organizations need to have their own public key infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificate management system is to mitigate the effect of man-in-the-middle attacks. In recent years, the threat of these attacks has grown tremendously as more organizations relied on electronic data for internal purposes. Public key infrastructure greatly reduces the risk of tampering with electronic forms by controlling access to them. Specifically, digital certificates are generated on a public cloud server, making them inherently tamper resistant. On top of that, the infrastructure is maintained by a strong service provider with strong security guarantees.

    One more compelling reason for organizations to have their own public cloud-based digital certificate management services is the ability to track all the certificates associated with a large set of employees. Let’s say that a business has several thousand employees. startups is assigned a unique digital certificate, and each one must be tracked. An unauthorized person could easily determine which employee has what authorization key, or at the very least, which group of employees have access to what authorization key. With all these keys in hand, a motivated, disgruntled employee can simply go through the business case and get the keys he or she needs to submit to various departments to gain unauthorized access. Tracking all these keys will become extremely difficult if the organization’s public key infrastructure is located in different locations.

    A powerful new method called Gartner’s Threat Intelligence tool can provide organizations with the information necessary to respond to any attacks before they happen. Gartner Threat Intelligence can quickly gather a large set of digital certificates and then query them to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that indicate threats. The most important and relevant KPIs will be those associated with financial security, as opposed to the technical aspects of the organization’s infrastructure.

    startups of a key performance indicator that might be gathered from a digital certificate management service is the estimated time spent on maintenance by employees. If an organization has a relatively short period of time between certification expiration and the renewal date of its existing certificate, that might indicate a problem, since certificate expiration is typically coincide with the renewal date of some types of security tokens, such as the genuineness of digital certificates. Also, a business might find that its customers are not renewing their certificates, and it might be a sign that a renewal had been attempted but was denied. The Gartner CA lifecycle estimates are highly accurate because they take into account the entire life cycle of a digital certificate, not just the first year of issuance.

    A great example of the application of a gartner dashboard in the context of digital certificate management solutions is the way that they can be used to evaluate the value of a given URL. For example, an organization might want to know how long it takes a website to first show up in a search engine and, if it takes five searches to bring up a site that the potential customer is interested in, then it might be worthwhile to change the URL. By collecting and analyzing this kind of data over a long period of time, a successful URL change can be very easy, since the business case will show how much value is added over the life of the new URL, as opposed to the short-lived measurement made by the original renewal date.

    The information collection required by a certificate management provider includes everything from URL logs to social media posts to videos to images. This means that a business will not have to worry about whether or not the collected information is actually relevant, since it will be based on a holistic KPIs that span the entirety of the lifecycle of the digital certificates in question. It will also allow a KPI specialist to make decisions about what, if anything, to do with the lifecycle of these certificates. Finally, since the data will be gathered in a manner that is both objective and systematic, it will make it easier to analyze the results and to recommend changes to the organization. startups is a digital certificate lifecycle solution that helps to ensure that the organization’s digital certificates are always fresh and up to date.

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