Digital trust is the foundation for secure business operations. This requires establishing and maintaining a strong cryptographic identity for every single user and machine (i.e. software, hardware, device, container, bot, etc.) attempting to access a network so the enterprise can verify who, or what, is interacting with its system.
The gold standard for strong digital identity based authentication ensuring digital trust is public key infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificates. However, due to the growing volume of human and machine identities requiring digital certificates, enterprises are now faced with a significant operational challenge: these certificates must be managed at scale. Without proper management, enterprises are susceptible to cyberattacks and costly interruptions to IT systems.
To further complicate matters, modern enterprises use certificates for a wide range of use cases such as passwordless authentication, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), to secure DevOps containers, document signing, and much more. That, coupled with the fact that digital certificates can be issued by several different Certificate Authorities (CAs) and have varying lifespans from just minutes to one year, has created a perfect storm for IT security teams.
The solution? Today’s digital enterprise requires a modern approach to the management of digital certificate lifecycles, regardless of the issuing CA. This is known as automated CA agnostic Certificate Lifecycle Management (CLM), and it’s the proper approach for enterprises in 2023 and beyond. When researching CLM vendors, IT leaders should be asking whether the solutions can help discover, deploy, install, and renew the lifecycles of all digital certificates, regardless of what CA issued them. This is what Sectigo Certificate Manager provides, and since 2020, Sectigo’s focus has been built around openness and interoperability to help leaders and their teams establish digital trust for their enterprises in remote and hybrid work environments.
Here are six reasons why a CA agnostic solution is vital. A CA agnostic CLM solution can:
- Help consolidate existing technology silos. Security leaders and their teams are managing too many security products and services. This negatively impacts their abilities to respond to breaches in a timely manner, because they must juggle multiple software to create reports and review all indicators of compromise. According to Gartner®, “75 percent of organizations pursued security vendor consolidation in 2022, up 29 percent in 2020” [i]. While it’s not feasible to consolidate every security product and service, building a tech stack with open and interoperable solutions is within reach. Only then will the existing silos be broken.
- Achieve crypto agility. This refers to the ability of an enterprise’s ecosystem to ensure its fundamental cryptographic primitives are current, reliable, and robust. It means an organization can swiftly respond to change. As the number of digital certificates continues to increase and the average lifespan decreases, achieving crypto agility must be a top priority. This becomes even more crucial when considering quantum computing, which threatens the current cryptographic foundation and ability to establish digital trust. Having a single pane of glass to manage all certificates from Sectigo and other CAs (and X.509 hybrid certificates that use quantum-safe encryption algorithms) allows enterprises to swiftly react to changes and be cryptographically agile.
- Reduce the complexity of the security stack. Security leaders and their teams must acquire and manage multiple, expensive, and siloed PKI and CLM solutions for identity management. Walled gardens are no longer an acceptable option, and in order to mitigate and in some cases prevent cybersecurity threats altogether, identity management solutions must integrate with each other and interoperate. Let’s examine one particular example of this. Take, for instance, the idea of natural dual-sourcing, or multi-sourcing. It’s completely normal to have certificates for primary domains to come from a different CA than experimental subdomains. Third-party, cloud-hosted web applications, CDNs, load balancers, and other publicly exposed internet resources might all be using SSL certificates from different sources for legitimate reasons. Also, there may be risk-based decisions in enterprises to multi-source certificates from different CAs. Sectigo recognizes and supports all of these modern realities. Sectigo is a leader in the usage of open, CA agnostic technologies to give its customers freedom from lock-in. Being CA agnostic is another way to achieve maximum flexibility to face an increasingly complex future.
- Optimize resources. Limited budgets and resources are putting a strain on IT teams, forcing them to find more value from their solutions. A Sectigo survey found that 59 percent of enterprises have deployed digital certificates originating from multiple CAs, and without CA agnosticism, these teams must (unrealistically) invest in multiple CLM solutions. In order to simplify security products and save money and time, leaders can consolidate their PKI and digital certificate management with CA agnostic CLM, one that works with different IT environments, including digital certificate types and use cases, and certificate origins.
- Enable compliance. The enterprise environment is made up of a combination of hybrid and multicloud environments and many applications and processes, all requiring new tools and approaches to ensure compliance and security. Just one overlooked certificate expiration can lead to huge consequences and compliance risks. Businesses are better positioned to stay in compliance when they establish and maintain digital trust, which is best done with an open CLM solution with visibility into all identities. This allows IT administrators to quickly identify digital certificates that are out of compliance.
- Deliver ROI through efficiencies. Having one platform where all digital certificates are managed provides greater efficiencies and avoids certificate silos that lead to outages or breaches. For the most ROI, a CA agnostic CLM solution in the cloud is the best approach, providing a lower cost of deployment, faster threat discovery, automation, and perimeterless security across the enterprise.
Learn how an identity-first security approach with SCM is key for every modern business to access, authenticate, and secure its IT security stack and processes at https://sectigo.com/lps/ca-agnostic-clm.
 Gartner Press Release, Gartner Survey Shows 75% of Organizations Are Pursuing Security Vendor Consolidation in 2022, September 13, 2022 - https://www.gartner.com/en/new...
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