|The report analyses current manual techniques and discusses methods for remediating resulting problems|
Venafi, the inventor of and market leader in enterprise key and certificate management (EKCM) solutions, recently announced the availability of a report on the critical need for enterprises to deploy automated certificate discovery and management solutions. The report-X.509 Certificate Management: Avoiding Downtime and Brand Damage, published Nov. 4, 2011, by leading research firm Gartner-highlights the time, cost and vulnerabilities associated with manually reviewing and managing security certificates. The report analyses current manual techniques, discusses methods for remediating resulting problems, and underscores the need to protect enterprise assets by automating certificate management.
According to the report, "Organisations are often not aware of the scope or the validity status of their X.509 certificate deployments until it is too late. Organisations need to establish formalised plans and, if necessary, leverage available tools to minimise impact."
"Despite the frequent and disruptive certificate authority (CA) compromises and the resultant digital certificate trust issues for those CAs, we are continually surprised to find that IT security teams are unaware of and unprepared for the consequences of poorly managed X.509 certificates. Organisations are using large numbers of certificates to encrypt and protect information and authenticate systems to one another-in their data centers, private clouds and now on mobile devices. What's amazing is how few know how many certificates are installed and in use, when they are going to expire, or who the issuing CAs are," said Jeff Hudson, Venafi CEO.
"A best-practices approach is a must," Hudson continued. "This guidance from Gartner is certain to educate and motivate better SSL certificate management, which in turn will greatly reduce the operational and security risks that result from poor management. Venafi is hosting this report as part of our ongoing commitment to educate the security community on SSL certificate management."
The following recommendations are taken from the Gartner report:
- "Organisations with roughly 200 or more documented X.509 certificates in use are high risk candidates for unplanned expiry and having certificates that have been purchased but not deployed. They must begin a formalised discovery process immediately."
- "Automated certificate discovery and renewal/management works to minimise the risk of unplanned expiry. Manual or automatic certificate management should be leveraged to attribute accountability and ownership of X.509 certificates within organisations."
- "Organisations need to create an inventory of X.509 certificates and certificate issuers to minimise the impact and downtime in the event of a certificate issuer compromise, suspected compromise or attack as seen over the past 18 months involving several certificate authorities. Furthermore, organisations need to plan for and practice what they will do in the event of a certificate authority compromise in the context of a security incident."