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RSA 2016: How Your Security Foundation Crumbles If Your Keys and Certificates Are Compromised

RSA 2016: How Your Security Foundation Crumbles If Your Keys and Certificates Are Compromised

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March 1, 2016 | Gregory Webb
Key Takeaways
  • Your business depends on a foundation of online trust, which relies heavily on keys and certificates
  • That foundation is compromised when security systems blindly trust keys and certificates—even stolen or forged ones
  • Bad guys are undermining this system of trust by using it to bypass your existing security controls
  • Venafi helps you strengthen your foundation by determining which keys and certificates you can trust

Cybercriminals are targeting your organization with attacks that misuse keys and certificates to infiltrate your network. And you can’t detect them because they are hiding in encrypted traffic. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2017, 50% of network attacks will use TLS. Yet, many organizations do not realize the severity of this threat. That’s why we are bringing the problem to life. Because sometimes seeing is believing.

At RSA 2016, Venafi made it real. Our gameshow - “Are You Smarter than a Bad Guy?” -  showed how your security foundation is built on a system of trust that relies on keys and certificates. Brick by security-enhanced brick, we built a wall of metaphorical security systems that rest on your keys and certificates. This wall of bricks illustrated how the smallest compromise of that foundation (a hijacked key or certificate) can cause the whole system to come tumbling down.

Venafi winners at RSA 2016

The rapid growth of keys and certificates is nearly unmanageable

Here’s why your security foundation is vulnerable. Global 5000 organizations deploy an average of 20,000+ digital keys and cryptographic certificates. That’s 20,000+ ways that cybercriminals can infiltrate your encrypted traffic every time you establish trusted connections, authenticate devices, secure applications, and authenticate code.

That’s a lot to manage, even if you are aware of all the keys and certificates that you are using. However, more than half of organizations (54%) don’t know exactly how many keys and certificates their systems use, where they are located, who owns them, who has access to them, or when they expire, On average, our customers have found more than 16K keys and certificates they didn’t know they had.

Bad guys know you are vulnerable

Even worse, your existing security systems are built on this very same foundation of trust. Because these systems trust keys and certificates they’re blind to many new threats. Even with thoughtfully layered security, you’re still exposed to man-in-the-middle attacks, spoofed websites, backdoor access, and code-signed malware attacks because they hide in encrypted traffic. And it’s only going to get worse.

Code-signed malware is growing at 75% CAGR. And cybercriminals are using SSL/TS against us, which allows the bad guys to look legitimate while they surveil networks, steal data, and stay undetected. Intel predicts the next big underground marketplace will be stolen certificates.

What you need is the ability to identify which keys and certificates are friend versus foe. You need to be able to determine the reputation (good or bad) of keys and certificates so that cybercriminals cannot use them anymore to bypass security solutions.

You can find and fix these vulnerabilities today

With Venafi, you get complete visibility and control. The Venafi Platform allows you to secure and protect all your keys and certificates while it shares a layer of services that make them work together—visibility, agents, policy, portals, workflow, reporting which integrates with hundreds of existing systems in your infrastructure.  We call ourselves the Immune System for the Internet™, because we let you know instantly which keys and certificates should be trusted and which shouldn’t, making security easy, fast and automated.

We hope you had a chance to visit us at RSA to see how your security foundation stacks up against cybercrime. If not, you can still talk to one of our experts to learn why hundreds of the world’s largest organizations use Venafi solutions to protect their foundation of trust.

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About the author

Gregory Webb
Gregory Webb
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