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Education Center - What a CISO Should Know About PKI

What a CISO Needs to Know About PKI

As a chief information security officer (CISO), your success depends on protecting your business’s information assets. Any chance to improve the cyber security of your company is welcomed (and a must), but you need to make sure security protection fits with your company to provide you with the best coverage against data and security breaches. Protecting your public key infrastructure (PKI) may seem like a headache, but it could prevent your company from risking valuable time, resources, and other assets.

In this article, you’ll learn, why PKI is important to you and your company, and what questions you should be asking your team for ultimate transparency in a security risk assessment.

What is PKI?

A public key infrastructure (PKI) is responsible for supporting public encryption keys while also enabling users and computers to safely exchange data over networks and verify the identity of other parties. With the number of machines in a business growing exponentially faster than the amount of people, protecting the keys that machines use to verify their identity is becoming more critical. Businesses spend billions protecting usernames and passwords for people, but almost nothing on protecting keys and certificates for machines. With PKI, CISOs and other information security specialists can implement hardware, software, policies, and procedures to better establish, manage, distribute, implement, and protect digital certificates and key policies.

Defend brand reputation and business continuity

As a CISO, it is one of your chief responsibilities to safeguard your company against external threats which could potentially wreak havoc on the reputation and continuity of your brand. With a reliable PKI infrastructure, you can provide the utmost protection for your company’s information assets and technologies.

Accelerate your business to differentiate

With top PKI security, your business will be able to stand out to customers as a brand that provides unparalleled protection for their safety and identity through reliable encryption and authentication technologies.

Reduce risk and achieve compliance

With the rapid evolution of today’s technology, calculating where true risk lies can be extremely challenging. However, by conducting regular security risk assessments, you can work with your team to determine the existence of risks and employ a PKI refresh to reduce the risk of a security breach, facilitate business continuity in the event of a breach, and achieve compliance with all predetermined regulations and mandates.

Focus on and defend the bottom line

By implementing automated cyber security solutions and by refreshing your PKI, you can ensure all certificates and keys are up-to-date and thus avoid the risks of costly business disruptions that threaten your company’s revenue. Instituting a PKI refresh can also lessen the financial impact of outages due to expired certificates - a cost that averages upwards of $15 million per outage.

Protect and invest in intellectual property

Cyber attackers tend to target businesses with the sole intent of stealing intellectual property, your customer database, and much more. These cyber criminals are experts at determining which keys and certificates can be used to breach targets and establish a strong, long-term presence that allows them to monitor and impersonate said targets. With a strong PKI, however, you’ll have complete visibility of all certificates and trust stores so that you can better protect your company’s intellectual properties against cyber attacks.

Manage cost of operations and building the network

PKI also plays a critical role in the management and development of network operations. Not only does a PKI help you control the costs and risks of expired certificates, but as a trusted security platform, it also gives you the management resources you need to identify and monitor certificates, enforce policies, and automate remediation to better avoid outages and safeguard against external threats.

Ensure clean, low-risk audit results

As a CISO, you probably know the stress audits can put on you and your team. However, with a PKI, you can eliminate the probability of receiving high compliance results. With a PKI refresh, you’ll be confident in the fact that all of your keys and certificates are up-to-date and providing the utmost security for your company. As such, your company will better comply with the policies and procedures put forth to protect against cyber threats.

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