Automated Vulnerability Remediation. Scale Quickly and Securely.

Analyst Coverage

“Cybercriminals are known to steal SSH keys or manipulate which keys are trusted to gain access to source code and other valuable intellectual property” Read More

“Advanced threat detection provides an important layer of protection but is not a substitute for securing keys and certificates that can provide an attacker trusted status that evades detection.” Read More

"Basically, the enterprise is a sitting duck."

"PKi is under attack...Advanced and persistent adversaries go for keys" Read More

"When there are many hundreds of certificates from a variety of certificate authorities, the only ecumenical [universal], nonproprietary provider of a certificate management solution is Venafi. Other CA management systems are biased toward the particular CA by, for example, only supporting renewals from that specific CA." Read More

"No CISO could consider having tens of thousands of unknown network ports open and have no way to control them. But that’s the alarming reality today with regards the trust established by keys and certificates..." Read More

"Organizations with roughly 200 or more documented X.509 certificates in use are high-risk candidates for unplanned expiry and having certificates that have been purchased but not deployed." Read More

"Technology critical to cloud computing is in clear and present danger...attacks on Secure Shell (SSH) keys present the most alarming threat arising from failure to control trust." Read More

“Certificates can no longer be blindly trusted” Read More

“Just because something is digitally signed doesn't mean it can be trusted.”

“Enterprise awareness of attacks on keys and certificates is in its infancy; most don’t understand how to detect or respond to an attack.” Read More

TrustForce SSH

Secure Shell (SSH) is fundamental in establishing secure communications between two hosts. The hosts might be a server and a systems administrator on a remote device, or they might be two servers. SSH allows for elevated privileges, bypassing authentication mechanisms on hosts.

By using a stolen SSH private key, an adversary can gain rogue root access to an enterprise network, bypassing all the security controls put in place. Despite this potential danger, according to Ponemon Institute, less than 30% of organizations have a clear understanding of their SSH inventory. As a result, malware that exploits or steals encryption keys (including SSH keys) and digital certificates has increased sharply in recent years. Ponemon Institute’s 2013 Cost of Cyber Crime Study: United States reports that once an attack is detected, organizations take at least 32 days to respond. Mandiant found that the median number of days to detect a compromise is 243 days. Compromised SSH keys need to be detected early and remediated quickly.

Venafi TrustForce part of Venafi Trust Protection Platform, works in unison with TrustAuthority. TrustAuthority helps identify any anomalous SSH key usage, while TrustForce enforces policies and automatically remediates any security incident resulting from detected SSH anomalies. With TrustAuthority and TrustForce, enterprises can reduce the unquantified and unmanaged risks that result in data breaches, reduce the time it takes them to respond to attacks on SSH, and avoid failed security audits.

  • Reduce the time to respond to a compromise
  • Reduce overall risk exposure to SSH exploits
  • Automate responses to SSH-related security incidents

What It Does

TrustForce enforces policies related to SSH keys, the hosts using them, and trusted key lists. It also automatically generates and rotates SSH keys for new or current users via configurable workflows. Working in unison with TrustAuthority, which provides real-time monitoring, TrustForce detects any anomalous SSH key behavior and immediately and automatically resolves it. TrustForce can enforce access control and command execution policies. Organizations achieve faster responses to SSH security incidents and tighter organizational control over SSH key usage.

Policy Configuration Enforcement

TrustForce provides policy enforcement at the host, or group level. In addition to controlling SSH key attributes like key length, hash algorithms, and many more, an administrator can enforce access control policies, which restrict which IP addresses or hostnames can access specific hosts. Administrators can also set policies to control which commands users can execute on specific hosts.

Key Generation and Deletion

TrustForce handles provisioning for new users. It generates a new SSH key pair for the user, deploys the private key to the user’s devices, and deploys the public key to hosts to which the user requires access—along with policies for establishing the correct trust and rights. When a user leaves the organization, TrustForce removes the SSH key pairs from any hosts to which the user had access.

Incident Response and Remediation

If TrustAuthority finds a rogue or orphaned SSH key, TrustForce automatically removes the offending key. Similarly, if TrustAuthority discovers a change in the authorized key configuration, TrustForce reverts the configuration to the settings defined in the template.

Whitelisting and Blacklisting

TrustForce whitelists or blacklists, depending on configurable policies, orphaned SSH keys detected by TrustAuthority. TrustForce allows devices to use a whitelisted key to access to the host, but it collects more information on how the key is used for further analysis. TrustForce blocks blacklisted keys, preventing the host from accepting them and marking them for deletion.

Support for an Extensive Ecosystem

As part of Venafi Trust Protection Platform, TrustForce is able to enforce policies for a wide array of SSH keys, including RSA1, RSA, and DSA SSH keys used with Attachmate, OpenSSH, and SSH Communications clients and servers. TrustForce’s RESTful API increases its extensibility and integration with other systems, further enhancing an organization’s security posture.

Why It’s Important

TrustForce helps organizations reduce their response time to network breaches that take advantage of SSH keys. By automating the enforcement of policies related to SSH keys, hosts, and trusted key lists, TrustForce helps organizations rapidly respond to SSH security incidents and vulnerabilities. Organizations reduce their risk exposure as well as the overall business impact of being compromised via this new attack vector—keys and certificates.

Reduced Organizational Risk

By enforcing SSH key policies that control key lengths, protocol versions, and other attributes, administrators can reduce the organization’s attack surface and mitigate ever-increasing targeted attacks.

  • Enforce robust policies and ensure strong SSH key pair configuration
  • Enforce rotation of SSH keys
  • Enforce access control

Immediate Incident Remediation

The longer it takes for an organization to respond to a breach that uses compromised or rogue SSH keys, the more data the organization loses. The organization suffers untold costs through the loss of intellectual property and brand damage. According to the Ponemon Institute, it takes organizations an average of 32 days to respond to a breach. Leveraging real-time monitoring by TrustAuthority, TrustForce seamlessly remediates any SSH key or configuration file anomalies on numerous systems in minutes, reducing the overall impact of a targeted attack. Organizations see a drastic reduction in their response time to an SSH key compromise and network breach.

  • Respond to policy violations in real time
  • Enforce authorized settings for configuration files

Compliance and Audit Success

SSH keys grant remote access to privileged administrative and application accounts, which are governed by regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), and Basel II. Many regulatory standards mandate the periodic rotation of keys. TrustForce provides fully automated key generation and rotation on hosts.

  • Automatically rotate keys as often as required
  • Log events and prove compliance

How It Works

TrustAuthority Requirements

TrustForce works in unison with TrustAuthority. TrustAuthority identifies all SSH keys, performs trust mapping, and notifies administrators of any policy violations. TrustForce takes action based on events from TrustAuthority, automatically generating SSH keys, and provisioning hosts with the appropriate keys and policies. TrustForce also enforces any policy applied to SSH keys, hosts, or authorized key lists.

Real-time Monitoring and Enforcement

Using a lightweight agent installed on each host, in the event that TrustAuthority detects anomalous SSH key usages, TrustForce automatically remediates the security incident. It might remove an SSH public key, replace the authorized key configuration, completely rotate a key pair, or restrict the commands a user is allowed to execute on the host.