Digital certificates are the unsung heroes of the digital age, quietly but indispensably securing a myriad of systems and processes across various industries. However, as digital certificates become more ubiquitous, enterprises face a formidable operational challenge: keeping track of and managing digital certificate lifecycles effectively at scale.
This challenge is compounded by several critical factors, including:
- The 90-day certificate challenge - the growing prevalence of 90-day certificates and the need for a unified, automated approach to certificate management in the wake of Google's "Moving Forward Together" announcement, which lays out plans to reduce the maximum public SSL/TLS certificate validity period to just 90-days, from 368. For organizations, this is a 77% reduction in maximum term, and will require five-times the number of digital certificates to maintain digital trust. These short-lived certificates, while enhancing security, require more frequent renewal and monitoring, creating additional management overhead.
- Siloed deployments: In many organizations, digital certificates are deployed across various departments, creating a decentralized and fragmented landscape. This fragmentation makes it challenging for not only CISOs, but also their teams, to gain a comprehensive view of all digital certificates issued throughout the enterprise network.
- Certificate Authority (CA) diversity: Digital certificates can be procured from different CAs, often chosen for redundancy purposes. However, this diversity complicates certificate management, as many Certificate Lifecycle Management (CLM) Platforms cannot effectively manage the lifecycles of certificates from various origins.
- Diverse lifespans: Digital certificates can have vastly different lifespans. Some certificate types, like those securing DevOps containers, may only be valid for a few hours or days, while others can be valid for a year or more. At scale, this discrepancy necessitates constant monitoring to prevent expiration and potential downtime.
The Automation advantage
To address these challenges and establish trust in this evolving landscape, CISOs and their teams are increasingly turning to automated CLM solutions. The Automatic Certificate Management Environment (ACME) is the preferred automation protocol for public certificate issuance and management. However, Sectigo Certificate Manager offers additional automation capabilities thought it’s Network Agent, or through its REST API.
Whichever approach organizations take, automation offers several key advantages:
- Efficiency: Automation streamlines the certificate management process, reducing manual tasks and freeing up IT teams for more strategic activities.
- Accuracy: Automated processes minimize the risk of human error, ensuring certificates are correctly managed, renewed, and replaced.
- Visibility: Finding and tracking both public and private certificates eliminates cross-departmental inconsistencies, rogue and shadow IT certificates.
- Cost Savings: By reducing manual labor and optimizing certificate usage, automation can lead to significant cost savings.
- Compliance: Automation helps organizations stay compliant with industry regulations by ensuring certificates are always up-to-date and in compliance with security standards.
According to a recent report by Ponemon Institute(1), automation can lead to a 30% reduction in the total cost of certificate management and a 60% reduction in certificate-related outages.
Sectigo's Comprehensive Solution
What CISOs and their teams truly need is a comprehensive solution that provides full CLM capability for all digital certificates, regardless of their origin. Sectigo has coined the term 'CA- agnostic' to describe this approach, focusing on offering enterprises complete visibility across their entire digital certificate ecosystem.
This CA-agnostic approach empowers IT security teams to consolidate existing technology silos, attain crypto agility, simplify security-stack management, optimize resources, ensure compliance, and achieve a significant return on investment, all through a single-pane-of-glass solution.
Sectigo recognizes the pressing need for IT teams to prioritize security vendor consolidation while pursuing crypto-agility. IT teams require the flexibility to operate within their unique environments and demand an automated Certificate Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution that adheres to open standards and seamlessly integrates with the enterprise technology stack.
SCM proudly stands as the sole genuine single-pane-of-glass solution available in the market:
- A single login.
- Seamless migration.
- Complete discovery and visibility across all cryptographic assets.
As enterprise security teams increasingly adopt a vendor-agnostic approach, Sectigo has taken the lead in developing the industry's first fully Certificate Authority (CA)-agnostic CLM platform. Sectigo Certificate Manager (SCM) has been purposefully designed to oversee and automate the lifecycles of all digital certificates, whether they are issued by Sectigo or a multitude of other public and private CAs.
All from only one platform.
1. Ponemon Institute. "The Impact of Automated Certificate Management." March 2022.