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Taking PKI to the Cloud: The Pros and Cons of Cloud-based PKI

Taking PKI to the Cloud: The Pros and Cons of Cloud-based PKI

The growing trend of companies transitioning to Cloud-based PKI comes as no surprise. IT leaders are now seeing it as a preferred option when it comes to issuing and managing certificates. Certificate Authorities (CAs) use the cloud to automate certificate lifecycles with a dedicated staff and large-scale data centers that meet their clients’ growing needs without the burden of setting up a security infrastructure from the ground up.

Indeed, Cloud PKI has revolutionized the way businesses secure their systems and networks. Today’s users require secure access for their businesses wherever they are. Demands on IT are increasing, and traditional on-site facilities are struggling to cope. Enterprises are slowly growing more confident in offloading their certificate management off-premise since the cloud infrastructure and CAs continue to prioritize security.

However, you may be wondering if Cloud-based PKI is the best option for your business. To help you make the decision, here are the pros and cons of a cloud-first PKI strategy.


  • Eliminates bottlenecks

    The high-speed certificate issuance is something cloud PKI provides impeccably. It provides the necessary tools needed for certificate issuance without the need to set up in-house infrastructure from scratch. It eliminates bottlenecks and provides scalability and availability while ensuring an efficient service.

  • Improved security

    By leveraging the service provider’s expertise around cryptography and certificate management, you reduce your organization's risk of data breach and service disruption.

  • Cost-efficient

    The cloud-based approach significantly reduces the financial cost of issuing and managing certificates by eliminating the need for an in-house infrastructure. All the ongoing maintenance of PKI is handled by the service provider.

  • Scalable

    The scalability of cloud infrastructure matches the requirements of the organization. The issuing CA handles all the additional requirements and infrastructures such as hardware and disaster recovery—something that would otherwise be a burden for companies with in-house PKI.

  • Centralized account

    Obtaining certificates from a CA does not require vetting each time a certificate is issued. Instead, it allows companies to only be vetted once, which is more convenient since the vetting process can sometimes be time-consuming and costly. Cloud-based PKI allows pre-vetted companies to issue certificates from a single account and selected administrators can issue certificates on demand.

  • Practical and efficient

    Cloud-based PKI is a practical and efficient option for companies dealing with high-volume certificates because it off-loads the administrative weight. It provides the management tools and platforms that allow automation like certificate lifecycle management (CLM).

  • Easily accessible and Convenient

    Managing and accessing certificates becomes easier thanks to the cloud. Companies do not have to be limited by the physical barriers and restrictions of on-premise infrastructure.


  • Less customization

    Customization might be limited depending on your chosen provider.

  • Limited features

    Not all cloud services are equal. Some cloud providers might only offer limited versions with fewer features than what you are looking for.

  • Support

    Depending on the provider, support may be a concern. Some service providers offer limited assistance or online support that may be tough to deal with. Be sure to look for a dedicated account manager.

GlobalSign’s Managed PKI

Security, being at the forefront of a company’s IT infrastructure, becomes a necessity. Enterprises must either be PKI experts or outsource their PKI lifecycle management to industry experts. Fortunately, today’s cloud infrastructure lets you securely manage your PKI setup while off-loading its complexity to us.

Benefits of GlobalSign’s Managed PKI:

  • Fully compliant and adheres to security standards.
  • An automated platform that allows you to simplify PKI deployments through APIs and integrations with Active Directory (AD) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms.
  • Manage certificates regardless of OS or platform with Auto Enrollment Gateway (AEG).
  • Instant issuance of multi-use digital certificates.
  • Flexible business terms and unlimited issuance licenses
  • Granular user permissions allowing account administrators to ensure only approved staff can access certificate activity.
  • Multiple companies or departments can be registered under one account.
  • No hidden fees.

As the leading provider of trusted identity and security solutions, we are equipped with the necessary expertise, tools, and infrastructure to simplify an otherwise complex issuance, distribution, and management of certificates.

Our cloud-based certificate management solutions can significantly reduce the effort, cost, and time it takes to issue and manage multiple certificates. Our trusted SSL/TLS certificates, digital signatures, code signing certificates, email security (S/MIME) certificates, and user, machine & device authentication make up the powerhouse of a secure network. Our solutions allow you to safely access company data and networks while protecting yourself from cyberattacks and online threats.

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