Answers to 3 Common Questions About Certificate Lifecycle Management

Certificate - lifecycle

If you operate a business or manage a website, a digital certificate is important when it comes to the security of the devices communicating with one another on a network. The certificates identify and authenticate the devices as being allowed to operate on the network. 

Learning about this important digital security issue and how it pertains to certificate lifecycle management will help keep the communications between the devices on your network protected from security flaws.

Why Has This Become an Important Digital Security Issue in Recent Times? 

Ransomware has been a prominent viral attack in recent times. If the digital security of your business network or website infrastructure has vulnerabilities, this can leave an opening for a ransomware attack. One method, among many, to remove vulnerabilities is to make sure each digital certificate assigned to each device on the network is up-to-date and validated.

As your business grows, the implementation of a growing number of personal computers and other technologies initiates the need to issue and manage more digital certificates. With each personal computer or technology added to provide the ability to transfer information easily and speedily on your network, another digital certificate has to be assigned. After a while, because of the growing amount and different types of certificates, the lifecycle of each digital certificate becomes more difficult to manage.

What is Certificate Lifecycle Management?

The life of a digital certificate has an expiration date. If the digital certificate expires and another certificate was not issued to replace it, this can cause a service disruption, or worse, vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can now be exploited by hackers to intercept sensitive information or launch viral attacks, such as ransomware. If these things happen, customer confidence and trust erode, while sales plummet. Non-compliance can also occur if your business or website is to follow certain legislative regulations.

So, it’s important for the certificate manager to start the process of replacing a digital certificate once the expiration date is near. Some digital certificates need to be revoked and replaced even before the expiration date, depending on the circumstances. A certificate lifecycle management process has to be initiated for each digital certificate. Here are the stages of a certificate lifecycle:

  • Request a certificate
  • Verify the certificate’s operational status
  • Remove the certificate, either because of expiration or revocation
  • Destroy the expired or revoked certificate

How Can My Certificate Lifecycle Management Methods be Modernized to Ensure Security? 

Legacy certificate lifecycle management tools or spreadsheets may no longer be able to keep up with maintaining the tasks of managing certificates because of your growing business or website needs. These tools may be overwhelmed by the growing volume and types of certificates that are required. Also, these types of certificate management may not work across cloud and multi-cloud configurations.

With all the technology needed to efficiently operate your business or manage your website, a universal certificate management system will be able to issue, renew, manage and automate the lifecycle of every digital certificate required and any type of digital certificate needed from a single platform. This provides the devices on your network with an impenetrable digital security strategy.

Prevent Certificate Management Issues

Now that you are more knowledgeable about certificate management and certificate management systems, you should feel more confident about finding the best solution to help overcome certificate management challenges to strengthen your website and digital security.

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