The PKI marketplace is currently facing some significant changes that are set to potentially cause a ripple effect on the way that IT teams manage business security. This, coupled with emerging technologies being harnessed as new attacks by threat actors presents IT teams with some complex challenges. Amongst all of this, IT teams must continue to manage their time and resources, update business security infrastructure and policies as well as navigate complex compliance and industry standards.
Automation tools, however, are emerging as a necessary solution to help businesses keep up with ongoing shifts within the industry. Many organizations are increasingly turning to automation to manage these challenges and maintain security infrastructure. There are many reasons why a business may want to implement automation as part of their security posture, and many types of tools to fit businesses in different industries, from Software Development, to Legal Consultancy to Consumer. Here we will explore a wider overview of some of the key reasons why IT teams should implement automation within their organization.
1. Automation Enhances Efficiency and Security
Most significantly, PKI automation improves security. Many IT teams still rely on spreadsheets to manually manage and maintain their digital certificates, which can result in expired certificates, vulnerabilities being exploited, and significant time and resources spent on certificate maintenance.
Certificate lifecycle management platforms remove the manual effort required of IT teams to monitor, store and manage their certificates. Certificate management platforms ensure that digital certificates can be renewed quickly without the risk of expiry through manually managed spreadsheet-based inventories.
Not only this, but the improved efficiency of certificate storage and management prevent malicious actors from exploiting vulnerabilities that occur from expired SSL / TLS certificates, or certificates that are in need of revocation due to a compromised private key. Some automated platforms also provide vulnerability scanning that can alert users to vulnerabilities within the security infrastructure enabling the user to act quickly to remediate the issue.
Using automated certificate management platforms enables users to maintain centralized inventories of their digital certificates. Platforms such as this provide access and visibility at different levels to enable users to track their certificates and their status, and preventing the risk of human error, ensuring that certificates are consistently requested, renewed or revoked when needed. By providing greater security, automation also enhances business efficiency, as less time is spent on locating and manually managing certificates.
2. Redistributing IT Resources
Manual certificate management places significant demands on IT teams which can often result in stress and burnout, as it can quite often be time-consuming and can prevent IT teams from starting new projects or tasks, or quite simply be overwhelming. Automating certificate management processes can help alleviate this pressure by relieving IT teams of the manual burden and improving efficiency and security.
Automated certificate lifecycle management solutions allow IT teams to automate certificate issuance, renewal and revocation requests using tools, such as the ACME protocol. The ACME protocol acts as an intermediary between the user and the Certificate Authority (CA), such as GlobalSign to automatically handle requests. Integrations such as this can reduce the burden to manage large amounts of certificates and requests by automating the entire process with minimal manual intervention. Not only this, but because the solutions allow for scalability as the business grows, increasing numbers of certificates do not need to be a daunting problem for IT teams.
Automated solutions like ACME also work for a number of industries. For example, in DevSecOps environments, where software development teams are facing a skills shortage within the security sector, automated solutions can help secure a variety of endpoints and bridge the knowledge gap. It also frees up time for security experts to train developers in best security practices so that security can be integrated throughout a DevSecOps lifecycle more efficiently.
Automated integrations are invaluable tools for integrating security practices into any organization while maintaining speed and efficiency, without compromising the security.
3. Improving Business Consistency and Compliance
The scalability that automation tools provide for IT teams helps to establish consistency within the business. By providing greater efficiency to certificate management, allowing users to process certificate issuance, renewal and revocation requests in higher volumes, and centralizing certificate inventories, this provides consistency and a structure for IT teams to adhere to, resulting in less incidents or risks of certificates becoming lost, exploited or expired.
The ongoing and rapidly shifting changes in the PKI market also highlights why businesses need this kind of consistency from their IT teams, their certificate management processes and their security framework as a whole. Consistency in security processes can produce consistency within business operations and facilitates compliance to regulatory and industry standards.
Automating security processes and certificate management enhances businesses security planning and long-term infrastructure. By taking a proactive approach to certificate management and streamlining security processes, IT teams are introducing a reliable infrastructure for certificate management and reducing the potential for vulnerabilities caused by human error. Automation creates a foundation for consistency and strong security planning within all areas of a business, which, once established, assists IT teams and organizations as a whole to keep up with industry regulations.
Staying compliant with industry standards and regulations is a continuous challenge for IT teams and cannot be achieved without consistency in business security policies and infrastructure. Platforms that also support automated integrations help create a frictionless approach to keeping up with existing and emerging industry requirements with features like centralized inventories, automated certificate renewal, secrets management, vulnerability scanning and alerts.
Businesses that invest in automation can benefit from enhanced security, improved consistency and infrastructure, and better distributed resources. Automation can help IT teams navigate ongoing changes in the PKI industry by creating better consistency in security processes throughout the business as well as easing the process of adhering to industry requirements.
The greatest benefit of automation is how it improves security for businesses. When factoring automated solutions into security planning, IT teams are better positioned to create vulnerability prevention and incident response procedures. It safeguards businesses against issues that can arise from expired or compromised certificates and ensures that certificate inventories are visible and that certificates are retrievable when needed. As threats continue to evolve, automation will remain a key pillar in maintaining business security, efficiency and consistency.
Do You Want to Discover More About Automated Certificate Management?
There are some challenges to automation, and it can be a complex endeavor to navigate beginning the process of automating and discovering all of the benefits. If you are looking for a starting point to automate your business, watch the video below to see if automation is right for you and how to get started.