Skip to main content
banner image
venafi logo

What Are Certificate Signing Requests?

What Are Certificate Signing Requests?

certificate signing requests
August 21, 2018 | David Bisson

A certificate signing request (CSR) is an important step in the process of a user obtaining a digital certificate. Organizations need to submit a (CSR) during the certificate enrollment process to a Certificate Authority (CA). That certificate issuing entity then uses the information included in the CSR to build a complete certificate.

Do you know enough about machine identity protection? Read our Dummies Guide. 

For those who use the Public Key Cryptography Standards 10 (PKCS10) Certification Request Standard, one of the most common standards for certificate signing requests, users must provide an unsigned copy of their digital certificate to the CA. They can initiate this process by generating a CSR using cPanel, Exchange, IIS, Java Keytool, or OpenSSL. These methods generally create CSRs in the Base-64 based PEM format, which means there is a X.509 certificate encodedin text using the Base-64 encoding scheme.

At the time of creation, most server software suites ask the user to provide several pieces of information for validation purposes. Those details include the requester's fully qualified domain name (FDQN), legal name of the company, contact email address, physical address, and name of the division that would be handling the certificate. Additionally, users will need to send over their public key as well as its type and length. As explained by GlobalSign, the CA needs these bits of data to create an SSL certificate, which uses asymmetric cryptography based on a corresponding private and public key pair.

Clearly, organizations must complete multiple steps and track many different pieces of information to properly submit a CSR. To make this process easier, companies should consider generating key pairs and CSRs as well as managing and enforcing trust stores from a central location. Such an approach would simplify administration and ensure that all policies governing certificate content during the certificate request process are enforced automatically.

Venafi's solution makes CSR generation easier, as it enables organizations to create their requests from a central enrollment portal. The solution also has the ability to define default values, which decreases the time needed to complete a CSR. Lastly, companies can use the enrollment portal to integrate with any CA. This further simplifies the generation and storage of CSRs and key pairs.


Learn more about machine identity protection. Explore now.


Related posts

Like this blog? We think you will love this.
certificate revocation
Featured Blog

How to Check for Revoked Certificates

Many methods exist for publishing and querying these lists but few of them are widely used.

Read More
Subscribe to our Weekly Blog Updates!

Join thousands of other security professionals

Get top blogs delivered to your inbox every week

See Popular Tags

You might also like

CIO Study: Certificate-Related Outages Continue to Plague Organizations
White Paper

CIO Study: Certificate-Related Outages Continue to Plague Organizations

Forrester Consulting Whitepaper: Securing the Enterprise with Machine Identity Protection
Industry Research

Forrester Consulting Whitepaper: Securing the Enterprise with Machine Identity Protection

Machine Identity Protection for Dummies

Machine Identity Protection for Dummies

About the author

David Bisson
David Bisson

David is a Contributing Editor at IBM Security Intelligence.David Bisson is a security journalist who works as Contributing Editor for IBM's Security Intelligence, Associate Editor for Tripwire and Contributing Writer for Gemalto, Venafi, Zix, Bora Design and others.

Read Posts by Author
get-started-overlay close-overlay cross icon
get-started-overlay close-overlay cross icon
Venafi Risk assessment Form Image

Sign up for Venafi Cloud

Venafi Cloud manages and protects certificates

* Please fill in this field Please enter valid email address
* Please fill in this field Password must be
At least 8 characters long
At least one digit
At last one lowercase letter
At least one uppercase letter
At least one special character
* Please fill in this field
* Please fill in this field
* Please fill in this field

End User License Agreement needs to be viewed and accepted

Already have an account? Login Here

get-started-overlay close-overlay cross icon

How can we help you?

Thank you!

Venafi will reach out to you within 24 hours. If you need an immediate answer please use our chat to get a live person.

In the meantime, please explore more of our solutions

Explore Solutions

learn more

Email Us a Question

learn more

Chat With Us

learn more