DigiCert Blog

Four Critical Components of Certificate Lifecycle Management

Effective certificate management is crucial for an organization’s security, and protecting consumer information.

DigiCert is committed to providing solutions for enterprises that need platforms and tools for effective SSL Certificate management throughout the certificate lifecycle. With our recently announced acquisition of Verizon Enterprise SSL business and Cybertrust Japan, DigiCert certificates are responsible for the security of millions of websites online.

More enterprises are choosing DigiCert and taking advantage of innovative certificate management solutions as well as our unique approach to encryption and authentication online. DigiCert’s innovations are always focused on the four critical components of certificate lifecycle management: simplifying the installation, monitoring, inspection, and management of certificates across the enterprise.

Installation

People less familiar with installing and configuring certificates may find the SSL installation process daunting. Manual configuration is highly susceptible to human error but until recently, there wasn’t an automated process. In April of 2015, however, DigiCert released Express Install, a tool that automates installation and configuration for Microsoft Windows and Linux platforms.

With one click, Express Install allows a DigiCert user to install and configure an SSL Certificate. The tool completes every step: CSR generation, installation on the server, and error-free configuration. Once your certificate is installed, you’re ready to monitor for the validity period.

Monitoring

The most dedicated system admins want to be in-the-know at all times when it comes to the status of certificates in use across all of their online properties. Constant vigilance is needed in order to maintain brand protection and consumer trust. Certificate Monitoring allows you to protect your brand from unauthorized certificates and fraud attempts, so you can stay informed about the status of secured domains.

Certificate Monitoring simplifies the process of certificate discovery by quickly identifying all SSL Certificates issued to any domain, giving administrators instant insight into what enterprise users are doing with SSL Certificates in their organization. Monitoring is an essential security component needed to prevent rogue issuance of certificates by internal employees or malicious actors.

Inspection

While monitoring will keep you informed about the certificates currently issued to your brand domains, inspection is the next part of certificate management because it allows you to dive deeper and determine the health of each certificate. SSL Pulse reports that nearly 80% of Websites surveyed have inadequate security to protect against today’s online data threats.

Certificate Inspector is a critical component of enterprise security that automates scanning of internal and external network environments to inventory every certificate in use—whether it’s issued by DigiCert or not. Certificate Inspector then analyzes the configuration and implementation of each, and grades certificates based on the latest standards for online data protection.

Admins who take the time to fix certificates with low grades will protect their certificates from easy hacks. Weak SSL configurations subject your organization to vulnerabilities, while regular certificate inspection can help you ensure each and every certificate is protecting your organization and customer information.

Management

SSL Certificates are the base of network security and play an important role in online trust. A fortified SSL security framework cannot be completed in just one step or by a single individual. Distributed teams are often tasked with ensuring security and compliance and add a complex layer of management into the process of managing SSL security. Powerful and customizable certificate management workflow functions are needed to streamline and simplify the process of administering SSL security across the enterprise.

Enterprise security is much more than just buying a SSL certificate. Certificate lifecycle management is an integral security process that requires many steps, such as:

  • Finding all the certificates in your network (certificate discovery)
  • Purchasing certificates regularly to prevent fraud and keep communication secure
  • Deploying certificates in a timely manner with proper configuration
  • Managing certificates using DigiCert tools and platforms
  • Renewing certificates on time or before expiration to avoid a gap in certificate validity

Stay Secure

The best way system admins can be prepared and stay on top of network security is by using the right tools to take care of certificates and implementing the four critical components of lifecycle management: installation, monitoring, inspection, and management. Certificate management is crucial for an organization’s security, and protecting consumer information.

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About Flavio Martins

Flavio is the VP of Operations at DigiCert. He's a marketing and customer service leader and strategist. Flavio was named by Huffington Post as a Top Customer Experience Pro and by ICMI as a Top 50 Contact Center Leader. Follow him on Twitter @flavmartins or Google+ @FlavioMartins