Ask people what their favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is, and you might get dozens of different responses. But chances are, not many will say “turkey.” It’s strange, in a way. After all, turkey is the centerpiece of the meal, not to mention the symbol of the holiday. Some people even refer to Thanksgiving as “Turkey Day.”
But the truth is, even the juiciest bird can’t measure up to fixings like stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potato pie, cranberry sauce, and all the other foods we trot out just once a year. It’s not that turkey is bad—it’s that only together do all of these individual elements elevate Thanksgiving dinner into a truly great meal.
Security can be a bit like that. While there’s no one, single tool that will render a network, website, or device 100% secure, PKI represents a strong foundation to build around. Like fixings at a Thanksgiving dinner, there are many tools that either utilize or complement PKI, and together, these can help cybersecurity professionals build a truly comprehensive approach to security.
This Thanksgiving, let’s run down a few of the tools we’re most thankful for:
Automatic Certificate Management
As websites become increasingly sprawling and IoT devices continue to proliferate at an astonishing rate, manual management of TLS/SSL certificates has become next-to-impossible. IT teams that used to be able to plan certificate renewals using a spreadsheet filled with dates have now found themselves responsible for thousands (if not tens of thousands) of certificates. And with all major browsers recently shortening the maximum recognized term length from two years to just 13 months, managing those certificates seems like it should be harder than ever.
The good news is that the opposite is actually true. Thanks to major advances in automation, managing digital certificates is easier than ever today. Tools like the Sectigo Certificate Manager offer enterprises a purpose-built solution capable of fully managing the lifecycle of all digital certificates from a single platform. Using automation, organizations can issue, renew, and revoke certificates simply and easily, helping to avoid the costly outages that can occur when things slip through the cracks.
Digitally Signed and Encrypted Email
Phishing scams and other social engineering attacks are on the rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic, making email security a major concern for IT teams across the globe. Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (better known as S/MIME) signs and encrypts email communications and attachments using digital certificates designed to validate the identity of the user. The technology also provides users with simple visual cues to help identify when a sender may not be who they claim to be.
Social engineering scams are popular among cybercriminals because they represent an easy way to obtain money, information, or valid credentials, while bypassing typical security controls. Helping users recognize potential email scams can go a long way toward preventing breaches and can also help organizations maintain regulatory compliance with legislation like GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA. Email remains a highly popular attack vector for cybercriminals, and S/MIME is one of the best ways to stop them in their tracks.
This year businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. The new remote workforce creates its own set of challenges, as IT departments find themselves under incredible pressure to scale their networks and provide remote access to the applications and services employees require to do their jobs remotely. And, to do so as safely and securely as possible.
Offering secure remote access starts with ensuring the identity of the user. Passwords offer some measure of security, but attackers have become increasingly adept at tricking employees and stealing passwords. PKI-based identity certificates are the strongest form of identity and make life easier for employees, reducing the burden of remembering, updating, and managing passwords.
PKI for DevOps
More organizations than ever are turning to DevOps for their development needs, making the protection of those DevOps environments more important than ever. Given the cyclical nature of DevOps development, engineers need a reliable way to ensure the security, identity, and compliance of DevOps containers and the code within them. Fortunately, PKI certificates also make a great way to secure those environments.
Sectigo provides a PKI for DevOps solution capable of automatically provisioning both public and private SSL certificates to protect the integrity of DevOps containers. Furthermore, Sectigo Code Signing can digitally sign applications and software programs to verify the file source and ensure that the code has not been altered in any way. This type of code signing is a great way to demonstrate that files are free of malevolent changes—something that has typically been a challenge within DevOps.
Great on Their Own, but Better Together
Like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and other Thanksgiving fixings, tools like S/MIME and automatic certificate management are great on their own—but together with other PKI tools, they help form the basis of a strong, comprehensive approach to device security and identity management. Even during these trying times, there are things to be thankful for, and as cybercriminals continue finding new ways to exploit any weakness they can, we are thankful to be in a position to help our customers and partners safely navigate security challenges.
Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy the holiday!