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How Big Is Your Risk of Certificate-based Outages?

How Big Is Your Risk of Certificate-based Outages?

certificate outages
September 12, 2017 | Sandra Chrust

We talk a lot about controlling keys and certificates so that cyber criminals can’t misuse them to hide in your encrypted traffic. But there’s a much more tangible reason for keeping tabs on your certificates. If you inadvertently allow one to expire, you could lose access to vital systems, stall business, frustrate customers and, ultimately, waste expensive staff hours trying to fix the problem.

Here’s how that very scenario played out at a large financial organization that called us soon afterwards: A report from their certificate authority management system identified that a certificate was going to expire in less than 30 days. The report did not include any information on where that certificate was installed, only that it was about to expire. So, they began looking for it. 20 days pass: no certificate. They start looking in earnest and with 5 days left, they launch a flurry of emails trying to locate it. Finally, they reach day zero. Systems go down. Sadly, that’s the only way they could find the certificate.

There’s got to be an easier way, right? Well, we’ve got good news for those of you who are struggling to reign in your bourgeoning certificate inventory. We’ve got an easy way for you to prevent your next outage by better understanding your certificate risks. Venafi as a Service helps you discover (or shall we say uncover) your certificates so you can stay informed about certificate risks. You’ll be able to see which certificates are expiring and when, so you can take the appropriate action to avoid the impact of a certificate-related outage. 

In addition to uncovering certificate risks that relate to impending expirations, you’ll gain additional intelligence about the relative weaknesses or vulnerabilities that can be used to gain access to your network with dire consequences.

But you have to find certificates before you can fix them. Venafi as a Service discovers your internal and external certificates and creates a comprehensive inventory of them along with important details about each certificate. Finding internal certificates is a huge benefit, as those tend to be a bit more evasive and difficult to inventory.

Of course, the best solution is to implement an automated identity management solution that will streamline the discovery process and automatically respond to certificate weaknesses or compromises. But it doesn’t hurt to start small with Venafi as a Service. In just a few minutes, you’ll be ever more informed about your certificates. Our easy to understand dashboard lets you see at a glance what certificate expirations are coming up, so you can quickly identify what action you need to take before an outage occurs.

And, if you are currently manually managing certificates, you’ll be able to download this information to compare it to what you think is your master list as an added bonus. You’ll quickly see if you have any gaps in your certificate awareness and take the appropriate actions to remedy—ultimately increasing your shot at increased availability and productivity.

Using Venafi as a Service, you’ll be able to stay abreast of your certificate risks and avoid those pesky outages for good. Take the first step today and try Venafi as a Service today.

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About the author

Sandra Chrust
Sandra Chrust

Sandra Chrust writes for Venafi's blog and is an expert in machine identity protection.

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