Managing digital certificates across complex networks to ensure protection and prevent failures is a must for all businesses. The hardest part of mitigating a certificate-related issue is not just identifying the certificate but also locating it on time. But adopting a lifecycle management system ensures a consistent approach, helps meet compliance requirements, and allows for the use of automation to increase efficiency. With the news that Apple will restrict SSL/TLS validity to just 398 days, it is even more important to have the tools to track and manage your digital certificates easily and effectively.
Because of their finite lifespan, certificates need to be replaced at the end of their life to avoid service disruption and decreased security. If a certificate fails, the vulnerability can be exploited by malicious man-in-the-middle attacks, allowing hackers to gain access to sensitive information. This will not only have an effect on sales, day-to-day business, and brand reputation – but it will also result in a lack of confidence and trust from your customers.
The Certificate Lifecycle
The certificate lifecycle covers these central processes:
- Generation of public/private keys and certificate signing request (CSR) using up to date encryption algorithms
- Enrollment (request and retrieval)
- Certificate provisioning/installation onto the intended endpoint(s)
- Certificate renewal
- Certificate revocation
If you are without certificate lifecycle management, certificates can get lost in systems then expire and cause unforeseen disruption. Since certificates are the base of network security and play an important role in online and internal network trust, why wouldn’t you want to manage these effectively?
To manage your certificates properly, ideally, all certificates and the certificate lifecycle management process should not be controlled manually. By using a CLM service, administrators can perform continuous monitoring of their systems and digital certificates, with the ability to generate audits and keep on top of expirations and renewals to avoid any disruption in service.
Many enterprises today rely on industry-leading PKI solution providers to address their certificate lifecycle management. If you want to learn how you can improve your CLM processes and avoid unwarranted disruptions, contact us today. We provide a robust portfolio of certificate management tools to suit a wide range of business needs.
Learn more about certificate lifecycle management by watching this short video: