Read time: 7 minutes

3DES is an encryption cipher derived from the original Data Encryption Standard (DES). 3DES was first introduced in 1998, the algorithm is primarily adopted in finance and other private industry to encrypt data-at-rest and data-in-transit. It became prominent in the late nineties but has since fallen out of favor due to the rise of more secure algorithms, such as AES-256 and XChaCha20. Although it will depreciate in 2023, it’s still implemented in some situations.

About Triple DES or 3DES

The Triple DES (often referred to as Data Encryption Algorithm (TDEA)) is specified in SP 800-6711 107 and has two variations, known as two-key TDEA and 108 three-key TDEA. Three-key TDEA is the stronger of the two variations.Below is the status of the 3DES algorithm used for encryption and decryption

AlgorithmStatus
Two-key TDEA EncryptionDisallowed
Two-key TDEA DecryptionLegacy use
Three-key TDEA EncryptionDeprecated through 2023Disallowed after 2023
Three-key TDEA DecryptionLegacy use

*Deprecated: you may use but must accept a specific risk

*Disallowed: algorithm or key length not suitable for use anymore

Three-key TDEA encryption and decryption

Effective as of the final publication of this revision of SP 800-131A, encryption using three-key TDEA is deprecated through December 31, 2023, using the approved encryption modes. Note that SP 800-67 specifies a restriction on protecting no more than 220 data blocks using the same single key bundle. Three-key TDEA may continue to be used for encryption in existing applications but shall not be used for encryption in new applications. After December 31, 2023, three-key TDEA is disallowed for encryption unless specifically allowed by other NIST guidance. Decryption using three-key TDEA is allowed for legacy use.

How is Triple DES/3DES applied?

Triple DES is a type of encryption that employs three DES instances on the same plaintext. It employs a variety of key selection approaches, including the following:

  • all utilized keys are different in the first
  • two keys are the same and one is different in the second
  • and all keys are the same in the third.

Difference between 3DES and DES

DES is a symmetric-key algorithm that uses the same key for encryption and decryption processes. 3DES was developed as a more secure alternative because of DES’s small key length. 3DES or Triple DES was built upon DES to improve security. In 3DES, the DES algorithm is run three times with three keys; however, it is only considered secure if three separate keys are used.

Triple DES/3DES is not secure?

The Triple Data Encryption Algorithm (TDEA or 3DES) is being officially decommissioned, according to draught guidelines provided by NIST on July 19, 2018. According to the standards, 3DES will be deprecated for all new applications following a period of public deliberation, and its use will be prohibited after 2023.

DES no longer used?

The Data Encryption Standard, also known as DES, is no longer considered secure. While there are no known severe weaknesses in its internals, it is inherently flawed because its 56-bit key is too short. A German court recently declared DES to be “out-of-date and not secure enough,” and held a bank accountable for utilizing it.

AES replaced DES encryption

One of the primary objectives for the DES replacement algorithm from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was that it be efficient in both software and hardware implementations. (Originally, DES was only practical in hardware implementations.) Performance analysis of the algorithms was carried out using Java and C reference implementations. AES was chosen in an open competition that included 15 candidates from as many research teams as possible from around the world, and the overall amount of resources dedicated to the process was enormous.

Finally, in October 2000, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced Rijndael as the proposed Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

Differences between 3DES and AES encryption?

Both AES and 3DES, often known as triple-DES, are symmetric block ciphers. These are the current data encryption standards. Though the use of 3DES has become increasingly unpopular in recent years. Both have the same goals and objectives, yet there are a lot of similarities between them.

Parameters of comparison3DESAES
Key Length168 bits (k1, k2, and k3), 112 bits (k1 and k2)128, 192, or 256 bits
Cipher TypeSymmetric block cipherSymmetric block cipher
Block Size64 bits128 bits
SecurityProven inadequateConsidered secure

Reference

nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-131Ar2.pdf

About the Author

Parnashree Saha is a data protection senior consultant at Encryption Consulting LLC working with PKI, AWS cryptographic services, GCP cryptographic services, and other data protection solutions such as Vormetric, Voltage etc.

Search any posts

A collection of Encryption related products and resources that every organization should have!

Cyber security experts conference 2022

Free Downloads

Datasheet of Encryption Consulting Services

Encryption Consulting is a customer focused cybersecurity firm that provides a multitude of services in all aspects of encryption for our clients.

Download

Read time: 8 minutes

Cryptographic keys are a vital part of any security system. They do everything from data encryption and decryption to user authentication. The compromise of any cryptographic key could lead to the collapse of an organization’s entire security infrastructure, allowing the attacker to decrypt sensitive data, authenticate themselves as privileged users, or give themselves access to other sources of classified information. Luckily, proper Management of keys and their related components can ensure the safety of confidential information.

Key management deals with the creation, exchange, storage, deletion, renewal of keys, etc. Key Management is putting certain standards in place to ensure the security of cryptographic keys in an organization.

Types of Cryptographic keys:

Cryptographic keys are grouped into various categories based on their functions. Let’s talk about a few types:

  1. Master Key

    The master key is used only to encrypt other subordinate encryption keys. The master key always remains in a secure area in the cryptographic facility (e.g., hardware security module), and its length will typically be 128 – 256 bits, depending on the algorithm used.

  2. The Key Encryption Key (KEK)

    When a secret key or data encryption is used, it must be “wrapped” with KEK keys to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of the key. The KEK is also known as the “key wrapping key” or the “key transport key.”

  3. The Data Encryption Key (DEK)

    Depending on the scenario and requirements, data may be encrypted with symmetric or asymmetric keys. In the case of symmetric keys, an AES key with a key length of 128-256 bits is typically used. A key length of 1024 – 4096 bits is generally used for asymmetric keys with the RSA algorithm. In simpler terms, you encrypt your data with data encryption keys.

  4. Root Keys

    The Root Key is the topmost key of your PKI hierarchy, which is used to authenticate and sign digital certificates. The Root Key usually has a longer lifetime than other keys in the hierarchy. The private portion of the root key pair is stored securely in a FIPS-140 2 level 3 compliant hardware security module.

Key length and algorithm

Choosing the right key length and algorithm is very important for the security of your cryptography environment. The key length of keys must be aligned with the key algorithm in use. For any keys (symmetric or asymmetric keys), the key length is chosen based on several factors:

  • The key algorithm being used
  • The required security strength.
  • The amount of data being processed utilizing the key (e.g., bulk data)
  • The crypto period of the key

Importance of Key Management:

Key Management forms the basis of all data security. Data is encrypted and decrypted via encryption keys, which means the loss or compromise of any encryption key would invalidate the data security measures put into place. Keys also ensure the safe transmission of data across an Internet connection. With authentication methods like code signing, attackers could pretend to be a trusted service like Microsoft while giving victims malware if they steal a poorly protected key. Keys comply with specific standards and regulations to ensure companies use best practices when protecting cryptographic keys. Well-protected keys should only be accessible by users who need them.

Key management systems are commonly used to ensure that the keys are:

  • Generated to the required key length and algorithm
  • Well protected (security architects generally prefer FIPS 140-2 complaint hardware security modules)
  • Managed and accessible only by authorized users
  • Rotated regularly
  • Deleted when no longer required
  • Audited regularly for their usage

Centralized Key Management:

People often ask if it is mandatory to have a 3rd party key management solution to manage encryption keys centrally. As per my opinion, no, it is not compulsory, but it is good to have features for your organization. A centralized key management system offers more efficiency than application-specific KMS.

The benefits of a centralized key management system:

  • Reduces operation overhead
  • Reduces costs with automation
  • With automation, it reduces the risk of human errors
  • Automated key update and distribution to any end-point
  • Provides tamper-evident records for proof of compliance
  • High availability and scalability
  • Meets regulatory compliance
  • Simplify your key management lifecycle

Compliance and Best Practices

Compliance standards and regulations ask a lot of key management practices. Standards created by the NIST and regulations, like PCI DSS, FIPS, and HIPAA, expect users to follow certain best practices to maintain the security of cryptographic keys used to protect sensitive data.

The following are important practices to ensure compliance with government regulations and standards:

  • The most important practice with cryptographic keys is never hard-coding key values anywhere. Hard-coding a key into open-source code, or code of any kind, instantly compromises the key. Anyone with access to that code now has access to the key value of one of your encryption keys, resulting in an insecure key.
  • The principle of least privilege is that users should only have access to keys necessary for their work. This assures only authorized users can access important cryptographic keys while tracking key usage. If a key is misused or compromised, only a handful of people have access to the key, so the suspect pool is narrowed down if the breach was within the organization.
  • HSMs are physical devices that store cryptographic keys and perform cryptographic operations on-premises. For an attacker to steal the keys from an HSM, they would need to physically remove the device from the premises, steal a quorum of access cards required to access the HSM, and bypass the encryption algorithm used to keep the keys secure. HSMs on the Cloud are also a viable key management storage method. Still, there is always the chance that the Cloud Service Provider’s security fails, allowing an attacker to access the keys stored therein.
  • Automation is a widely practiced method of ensuring keys do not go past their crypto period and become overused. Other portions of the key lifecycle can be automated, like creating new keys, backing up keys regularly, distributing keys, revoking keys, and destroying keys.
  • Creating and enforcing security policies relating to encryption keys is another way many organizations ensure the safety and compliance of their key management system. Security policies provide the methods everyone within an organization follows and create another method of tracking who can and has accessed specific keys.
  • Separating duties related to key Management is another important practice for any organization. An example of separation of duties is that one person is assigned to authorize the new user’s access to keys, another distributes the keys, and a third person creates the keys. With this method, the first person cannot steal the key during the distribution phase or learn the value during the generation phase of the key lifecycle.

Encryption Consulting Assessment

At Encryption Consulting, we ensure your system meets compliance standards and protects data with the best possible methods. We perform encryption assessments, including key Management and cloud key lifecycle management. We also write weekly blogs that can help you find the best practices for your key management needs and learn more about the different aspects of data security.

About the Author

Parnashree Saha is a data protection senior consultant at Encryption Consulting LLC working with PKI, AWS cryptographic services, GCP cryptographic services, and other data protection solutions such as Vormetric, Voltage etc.

Search any posts

A collection of Encryption related products and resources that every organization should have!

Cyber security experts conference 2022

Free Downloads

Datasheet of Encryption Consulting Services

Encryption Consulting is a customer focused cybersecurity firm that provides a multitude of services in all aspects of encryption for our clients.

Download

Read time: 5 minutes

What is Data Loss Prevention?

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a set of processes used to ensure an the organization’s sensitive data is not lost, misused, leaked, breached, or accessed by unauthorized users. Organizations use DLP to protect and secure data and comply with regulations. Organizations pass their sensitive data to partners, customers, remote employees, and other legitimate users through their network, and sometimes it may get intercepted by an unauthorized user.

Many organizations find it challenging to keep track of their data and lack effective data loss prevention best practices. This results in a lack of visibility into what data leaves the organization and obfuscates data loss prevention.

Why do you need Data Loss Prevention?

Data loss can be damaging for businesses of all sizes. The primary purpose of data loss prevention is to secure sensitive data and prevent data leakage /data breaches. Data loss prevention solutions are designed to monitor and filter data constantly. In addition to dealing with the data being used, stored, and transmitted within the network, data loss prevention applications ensure no harmful outside information enters the company network and that no sensitive information leaves the company network via an unauthorized user.

Organizations typically use DLP to:

Protect personal Identifiable Information (PII) data and comply with relevant regulations.

Protect intellectual property, which is critical for the organization.

Secure data on remote cloud systems or storage.

Enforce security in a BYOD environment.

Achieve data visibility.

Reasons why Data Loss Prevention is necessary for business:

  • Outside threats and attacks are increasing daily; hackers have become more sophisticated with time and finding new ways to access networks and sensitive data occurs very frequently. Organizations should actively look for new threats.
  • Insider threats are also a prime reason to use DLP. Disgruntled employees deliberately cause harm to the company by sharing the company’s sensitive data with unauthorized users or by trying to find assistance from outside to carry out the attacks. The Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report revealed that more than 20% of security incidents involved insiders.
  • Data loss can impact the financial health of your business. Data loss can also lead to loss of productivity, revenue, client trust and damage the company’s brand name and reputation. According to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021, the global average data breach costs increased from $3.86 million to $4.2 million in 2021.
  • Organizations have welcomed the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach on an immense scale. However, some industries or organizations have poorly deployed and maintained BYOD solutions. In this case, it is easier for employees to inadvertently share sensitive information through their personal devices.

Therefore, a data loss prevention strategy is crucial to secure your data, protect intellectual property, and comply with regulations. DLP systems ensure that your company’s sensitive data is not lost, mishandled, or accessed by unauthorized users.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) best practices:

  1. Determine your data protection objective

    Define what you are trying to achieve with your data loss prevention program. So you want to protect your intellectual property, better visibility, or meet regulatory and compliance requirements. Having a clear objective will help you/the organization determine the appropriate DLP solution to include your DLP strategy.

  2. Data classification and identification

    Identify the critical data for your business, such as client information, financial records, source codes, etc, and classify them based on their criticality level.

  3. Data Security policies

    Define comprehensive data security rules and policies and establish them across your company’s network. DLP technologies help block sensitive data/information/files from being shared via unsecured sources.

  4. Access Management

    Access to and use of critical or sensitive data should be restricted or limited based on users’ roles and responsibilities. The DLP solution helps the system administrators assign the appropriate authorization controls to users depending upon the type of data users handle and their access level.

  5. Evaluate internal resources

    To execute the DLP strategy/program successfully, an organization needs personnel with DLP expertise, who can help the organization to implement the appropriate DLP solution, including DLP risk analysis, reporting, data breach response, and DLP training and awareness.

  6. Conduct an assessment

    Evaluating the types of data and their value to the organization is an essential step in implementing a DLP program. This includes identifying relevant data, wherever the data is stored, and if it is sensitive data—intellectual property, confidential information,etc.

    Some DLP solutions can identify information assets by scanning the metadata of files and cataloging the result, or if necessary, analyze the content by opening the files. The next step is to evaluate the risk associated with each type of data if the data is leaked.

    Losing information about employee benefits programs carries a different level of risk than the loss of 1,000 patient medical files or 100,000 bank account numbers and passwords. Additional considerations include data exit points and the likely cost to the organization if the data is lost.

  7. Research for DLP vendors

    Establish your evaluation criteria while researching for a DLP vendor for your organization, such as:

    • Type of deployment architecture offered by the vendor.
    • Operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc.) the solution supports.
    • Does the vendor provide managed services?
    • Protecting structured or unstructured data, what’s your concern?
    • How do you plan to enforce data movement?(e.g., based on policies, events, or users)
    • Regulatory and Compliance requirement for your organization.
    • What is the timeline to deploy DLP solution?
    • Will you need additional staff/ experts to manage DLP? Etc.
  8. Define Roles and Responsibilities

    Define the roles and responsibilities of individuals involved in the DLP program. This will provide checks and balances during the deployment of the program.

  9. Define use cases

    Organizations often try to solve all the use cases simultaneously. Define the initial approach and set fast and measurable objectives, or choose an approach to narrow your focus on specific data types.

Conclusion

DLP solutions classify regulated, confidential, and business critical data, it additionally identifies any violations of policies specified by organizations or within a predefined policy set, usually driven by regulatory compliance such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, or GDPR. In case violations are identified, DLP enforces remediation with alerts to prevent end users from accidentally or delibartely sharing data that could put the organization at risk. DLP solutions monitor and control endpoint activities, protect data-at-rest, data-in-motion, and data-in-use, and also has a reporting feature to meet compliance and auditing requirements.

About the Author

Parnashree Saha is a data protection senior consultant at Encryption Consulting LLC working with PKI, AWS cryptographic services, GCP cryptographic services, and other data protection solutions such as Vormetric, Voltage etc.

Search any posts

A collection of Encryption related products and resources that every organization should have!

Cyber security experts conference 2022

Free Downloads

Datasheet of Encryption Consulting Services

Encryption Consulting is a customer focused cybersecurity firm that provides a multitude of services in all aspects of encryption for our clients.

Download

Read time: 5 minutes

What is an IoT device?

Before we jump into the issues and challenges, let’s get a better idea of IoT devices. Devices that have a sensor attached to it and transmit data from one object to another or to people with the help of the Internet is known as an IoT device.IoT devices are wireless sensors, software, actuators, and computer devices. An IoT device is any device that connects to a network to access the Internet, so Personal Computers, cellphones, speakers, and even some outlets are considered IoT devices. Today, even cars and airplanes use IoT devices, meaning if these devices are attacked by threat actors, then cars or airplanes could be hijacked or stolen. With such widespread use of IoT devices in place globally, authenticating and authorizing IoT devices within your organization’s network has become vital. Allowing unauthorized IoT devices onto your network can lead to threat actors leveraging these unauthorized devices to perform malware attacks within your organization.

Need for IoT Security

Security breaches in IoT devices can occur anytime, including manufacturing, network deployment, and software updates. These vulnerabilities provide entry points for hackers to introduce malware into the IoT device and corrupt it. In addition, because all the devices are connected to the Internet, for example: through Wi-Fi, a flaw in one device might compromise the entire network, leading other devices to malfunction.Some key requirements for IoT security are:

  • Device security, such as device authentication through digital certificates and signatures.
  • Data security, including device authentication and data confidentiality and integrity.
  • To comply with regulatory requirements and requests to ensure that IoT devices meet the regulations set up by the industry within which they are used.

IoT Security Challenges:

  1. Malware and Ransomware

    The number of malware and ransomware used to exploit IoT-connected devices continue to rise in the coming years as the number of connected devices grows. While classic ransomware uses encryption to lock users out of various devices and platforms entirely, hybridization of malware and ransomware strains is on the rise to integrate multiple attacks.

    The ransomware attacks could reduce or disable device functions while stealing user data. For example, a simple IP (Internet Protocol) camera can collect sensitive information from your house, office, etc.

  2. Data Security and Privacy

    Data privacy and security are the most critical issues in today’s interconnected world. Large organizations use various IoT devices, such as smart TVs, IP cameras, speakers, lighting systems, printers, etc., to constantly capture, send, store, and process data. All the user data is often shared or even sold to numerous companies, violating privacy and data security rights and creating public distrust.

    Before storing and disassociating IoT data payloads from information that might be used to identify users personally, the organization needs to establish dedicated compliance and privacy guidelines that redact and anonymize sensitive data. Mobile, web, cloud apps, and other services used to access, manage, and process data associated with IoT devices should comply with these guidelines. Data that has been cached but is no longer needed should be safely disposed of. If the data is saved, complying with various legal and regulatory structures will be the most challenging part.

  3. Brute Force Attacks

    According to government reports, manufacturers should avoid selling IoT devices with default credentials, as they use “admin” as a username and password. However, these are only guidelines at this point, and there are no legal penalties in place to force manufacturers to stop using this risky approach. In addition, almost all IoT devices are vulnerable to password hacking and brute-forcing because of weak credentials and login details.

    For the same reason, Mirai malware successfully detected vulnerable IoT devices and compromised them using default usernames and passwords.

  4. Skill Gap

    Nowadays, organizations face a significant IoT skill gap that stops them from fully utilizing new prospects. As it is not always possible to hire a new team, setting up training programs is necessary. Adequate training workshops and hands-on activities should be set up to hack a specific smart gadget. The more knowledge your team members have in IoT, the more productive and secure your IoT will be.

  5. Lack of Updates and Weak Update Mechanism

    IoT products are designed with connectivity and ease of use in mind. They may be secure when purchased, but they become vulnerable when hackers find new security flaws or vulnerabilities. In addition, IoT devices become vulnerable over time if they are not fixed with regular updates.

Top IoT Vulnerabilities

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has published the IoT vulnerabilities, an excellent resource for manufacturers and users alike.

  1. Weak Password Protection

    Use of easily brute-forced, publicly available, or unchangeable credentials, including backdoors in firmware or client software that grants unauthorized access to deployed systems.

    Weak, guessable, default, and hardcoded credentials are the easiest way to hack and attack devices directly and launch further large-scale botnets and other malware.

    In 2018, California’s SB-327 IoT law passed to prohibit the use of default certificates. This law aims to solve the use of weak password vulnerabilities.

  2. Insecure network services

    Unnecessary or unsafe network services that run on the devices, particularly those that are exposed to the internet, jeopardize the availability of confidentiality, integrity/authenticity of the information, and open the risk of unauthorized remote control of IoT devices.

    Unsecured networks make it easy for cybercriminals to exploit weaknesses in protocols and services that run on IoT devices. Once they have exploited the network, attackers can compromise confidential or sensitive data transmitted between the user’s device and the server. Unsecured networks are especially vulnerable to Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks, which steal device credentials and authentication as part of broader cyberattacks.

  3. Insecure Ecosystem Interfaces

    Insecure web, backend API, cloud, or mobile interfaces in the ecosystem outside of the device that allows compromise of the device or its related components. Common issues include a lack of authentication/authorization, lacking or weak encryption, and a lack of input and output filtering.

    Useful identification tools help the server distinguish legitimate devices from malicious users. Insecure ecosystem interfaces, such as application programming interfaces (APIs), web applications, and mobile devices, allow attackers to compromise devices. Organizations should implement authentication and authorization processes to authenticate users and protect their cloud and mobile interfaces.

  4. Insecure or Outdated Components

    Use of deprecated or insecure software components/libraries that could allow the device to be compromised. This includes insecure customization of operating system platforms, and the use of third-party software or hardware components from a compromised supply chain.

    The IoT ecosystem can be compromised by code and software vulnerabilities as well as legacy systems. Using unsafe or outdated components, such as open source or third-party software, can create security vulnerabilities that expand an organization’s attack surface.

  5. Lack of Proper Privacy Protection

    User’s personal information stored on the device or in the ecosystem that is used insecurely, improperly, or without permission.

    IoT devices often collect personal data that organizations must securely store and process in order to comply with various data privacy regulations. Failure to protect this data can result in fines, loss of reputation and loss of business. Failure to implement adequate security can lead to data leaks that jeopardize user privacy.

  6. Insecure Default Settings

    Devices or systems shipped with insecure default settings or lack the ability to make the system more secure by restricting operators from modifying configurations.

    IoT devices, like personal devices, come with hard-coded, default settings that allow for easy configuration. However, these default settings are very insecure and vulnerable to attackers. Once compromised, hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in a device’s firmware and launch broader attacks aimed at businesses.

  7. Lack of Physical Hardening

    Lack of physical hardening measures, allowing potential attackers to gain sensitive information that can help in a future remote attack or take local control of the device.

    The nature of IoT devices suggests that they are deployed in remote environments rather than in easy-to-manage, controlled scenarios. This makes it easy for attackers to target, disrupt, manipulate, or sabotage critical systems within an organization.

  8. Lack of secure update mechanisms

    Lack of ability to securely update the device. This includes lack of firmware validation on device, lack of secure delivery (un-encrypted in transit), lack of anti-rollback mechanisms, and lack of notifications of security changes due to updates.

    Unauthorized firmware and software updates pose a great threat to launch attacks against IoT devices.

Conclusion

How Encryption Consulting’s PKI-as-a-service helps secure your IoT devices?

Encryption Consulting LLC (EC) will completely offload the Public Key Infrastructure environment and build the PKI infrastructure to lead and manage the PKI environment (on-premises, PKI in the cloud, cloud-based hybrid PKI infrastructure) of your organization. Encryption Consulting will deploy and support your PKI using a fully developed and tested set of procedures and audited processes. Admin rights to your Active Directory will not be required, and control over your PKI and its associated business processes will always remain with you. Furthermore, for security best practices, the CA keys will be held in FIPS 140-2 Level 3 HSMs hosted either in your secure datacentre or in our Encryption Consulting datacentre in Dallas, Texas.

References

About the Author

Parnashree Saha is a data protection senior consultant at Encryption Consulting LLC working with PKI, AWS cryptographic services, GCP cryptographic services, and other data protection solutions such as Vormetric, Voltage etc.

Search any posts

A collection of Encryption related products and resources that every organization should have!

Cyber security experts conference 2022

Free Downloads

Datasheet of Encryption Consulting Services

Encryption Consulting is a customer focused cybersecurity firm that provides a multitude of services in all aspects of encryption for our clients.

Download

Read time: 3 minutes

What is a Wildcard Certificate?

A wildcard certificate (like SSL/TLS) is a public key certificate that can protect several subdomains inside a domain and is usually acquired from a trustworthy public Certificate Authority (CA).

Multiple subdomains for your website can benefit your business, but they can also be challenging to manage. Multiple SSL/TLS certificates to secure those subdomains increase their complexity, but a wildcard certificate can efficiently resolve this issue.

Compared to managing individual certificates for your subdomains, a Wildcard certificate can save you time and money.

The domain name is prefixed by an asterisk and a period in wildcard notation. Wildcards are frequently used in Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates to extend SSL encryption to subdomains. A traditional SSL certificate is only valid for a single domain, such as www.domain.com. A *.domain.com wildcard certificate will also protect cloud.domain.com, shop.domain.com, mobile.domain.com, and other domains.

Why should you use Wildcard certificates?

Wildcard certificates are easier to use as they allow organizations to use a single certificate for all subdomains.

The following are some advantages of using wildcard certificates:

  • Secure any number of subdomains: Without having different SSL certificates for each subdomain, a single wildcard SSL certificate can cover as many subdomains as you want.
  • Straightforward Certificate Administration: Individual SSL certificates must be deployed and appropriately managed to secure an increasing number of public-facing domains, cloud workloads, and devices. But by using a single wildcard certificate, you can manage unlimited domains that make certificate management simpler.
  • Cost-cutting: A wildcard certificate costs more than an ordinary SSL certificate, but it becomes a cost-effective alternative compared to the overall cost of securing all of your subdomains, each with their own certificate.
  • Fast and Flexible Implementation: A wildcard certificate is a great way to build new sites on new subdomains that your existing certificate can cover. There’s no need to wait for a new SSL certificate, which saves your organization time and speeds up your time to market.


Potential Security risks of Wildcard certificates

When a wildcard certificate is reused across multiple subdomains hosted on various servers, there are additional security concerns for the protections offered by SSL/TLS certificates. In the event of a breach of one of the servers, adversaries will compromise the certificate. If this is the case, the confidentiality and integrity of traffic to each site where the certificate is used is jeopardized. An attacker who obtains the certificate would be able to decrypt, read, modify, and re-encrypt traffic. This is likely to result in the exposure of sensitive information and further targeted attacks.

Wildcard certificates are frequently used to cover all domains with the same registered root, making administration straightforward. However, because the same private key is used across numerous systems, the freedom that comes with using wildcard certificates also comes with severe security risks:

  • Access To Private Keys: If the private key of a wildcard certificate gets compromised, the hacker can impersonate any domain for the wildcard certificate.
  • Fake Certificates: Attackers can fool a certificate authority (CA) into issuing a wildcard certificate for a bogus organization. Once the attacker gets the fictitious company’s wildcard certificates, they can set up subdomains and phishing sites.
  • Certificate Management: All sub-domains will require a new certificate if the wildcard certificate gets revoked.
  • Web Server Security: If one server or sub-domain gets hacked, all sub-domains may be hacked as well.
  • A single point of failure: The private key of a wildcard certificate is a single point of a total compromise. If that key is compromised, all secure connections to all servers and subdomains listed in the certificate will be compromised.

Attackers can easily misuse wildcard certificates if an organization doesn’t have adequate security, control, or monitoring.

Strategy to consider when using Wildcard Certificates

  • Limit the use of wildcard certificates to a specific purpose for better security control.
  • A detailed discussion with the security team and leadership, about the purpose of using a wildcard certificate.
    • Understand the security risks.
    • Will this decision be more efficient for your organization?
    • Are you planning to use a wildcard certificate to save time?
    • Are you trying to save money?
  • Keep an accurate and up-to-date inventory of certificates in your environment which includes documenting key length, hash algorithms, certificate expiry, certificate locations, and the certificate owner.
  • Ensure that private keys are stored and protected according to the industry’s best practices (i.e., using a certified HSM).
  • Automate certificate renewal, revocation, and provisioning processes to prevent unexpected expirations and outages.

Conclusion:

No organization wants to put their brand name into a situation where it is a piece of cake for the attackers to leak sensitive information. Although wildcard certificates offer certain benefits, you should make sure you are using them consciously and strategically.

About the Author

Parnashree Saha is a data protection senior consultant at Encryption Consulting LLC working with PKI, AWS cryptographic services, GCP cryptographic services, and other data protection solutions such as Vormetric, Voltage etc.

Search any posts

A collection of Encryption related products and resources that every organization should have!

Cyber security experts conference 2022

Free Downloads

Datasheet of Encryption Consulting Services

Encryption Consulting is a customer focused cybersecurity firm that provides a multitude of services in all aspects of encryption for our clients.

Download

Read time: 12 minutes

PKI, the abbreviation for Public Key Infrastructure, is a set of roles, procedures, and policies needed to create, distribute, manage, use, and revoke digital certificates and manage public-key encryption. PKI is used to confirm the identity of a user by providing ownership of a private key. It is a trusted service to verify that a sender or receiver of data is exactly who they claim to be.

PKI is built around components and procedures for managing the key pairs (public and private key pairs).

A typical PKI is made up of the following components:

  1. Certificate Authority (CA): A trusted CA is the only entity in PKI that can issue trusted digital certificates. CA accepts requests for certificates and verifies the information provided by the applicants based on certificate management policy. CA will sign the certificates with its private key and issue them to the applicants if the information is legal.
  2. Registration Authority (RA): RA is responsible for receiving certificate signing requests for the initial enrollment or renewal of certificates from users, servers, other applications. RA verifies the identity of an end-entity and forwards the request to a certificate authority (CA).
  3. Public Key: Public key can be distributed widely and does not require secure storage. Its corresponding private key can only decrypt messages/Data encrypted by the public key.
  4. Private Key: Private keys are used by the recipient to decrypt the message/data encrypted by its corresponding public key. This establishes the ownership of the private and public key pair, ensuring the message is only read by the approved parties
  5. Root Certificate Authority (Root CA): A certificate is considered valid when a trusted Root CA sign it. A Root CA is entitled to verify a person’s identity and signs the root certificate that is distributed to a user.
  6. Intermediate Certificate Authority: An Intermediate CA is also a trusted CA and is used as a chain between the root CA and the client certificate that the user enrolls for. Since the Root CA has signed and trusts the intermediate CA, certificates generated from the intermediate CA are also trusted.
  7. Hardware security module: A Hardware Security Module isn’t a mandatory component of a PKI, but it improves the security of the PKI when implemented. This device protects and manages digital keys and serves as the groundwork for building a secure enterprise PKI infrastructure. The HSM manages the complete lifecycle of cryptographic keys, including creation, rotation, deletion, auditing, and support for APIs to integrate with various applications.

Now we have a fair idea about some of the PKI components, let’s talk about different PKI vendors and their best practices:

Microsoft PKI

Below is few best practices that are recommended to use Microsoft PKI effectively.

  • Make a detailed plan of your PKI infrastructure before deployment.
  • Avoid installing ADCS on a domain controller.
  • Root CA should be standalone and offline.
  • Do not issue certificates to end-entity from a Root CA.
  • Enable auditing events for both Root and Issuing CA.
  • Secure the Private key with HSM (FIPS 140-2 level 3)
  • Install Enterprise CA only if your CA issues a certificate for devices or users.
  • It is not recommended to use default certificate templates.
  • CRL distribution point should be highly available.
  • Publish Root CA CRL to Active directory.
  • Hash Algorithm should be at least SHA-2 (SHA 256 bit).
  • The end-entity certificate validity period should be a maximum of 2 years.

AWS Certificate Manager

Here are the top 10 best practices we identified for AWS Certificate Manager (ACM):

  • ACM Certificate expiry check: Ensure removal of expired SSL/TLS certificates managed by ACM. This eliminates the risk of deploying an invalid SSL/TLS certificate in resources that trigger the front end. This might cause a loss of credibility for business as well.
  • ACM Certificate validity check: Ensure requests that arrive during the SSL/TLS certificate issue or renewal process are validated regularly.
  • Root Certificate Authority (CA) usage: It is always a best practice to minimize the use of Root CA. Amazon recommends creating a separate account for Root CA.
  • Transport layer protection is vital to ensure security. It is recommended to use only TLS version 1.1 or above and not use SSL as it is no longer secure.
  • Whenever you import certificates instead of ACM-issued certificates, ensure keys used to generate SSL/TLS certificate private keys have high key strength to avoid a data breach.
  • Avoid using wildcard domain certificates. Instead, try to issue ACM single domain certificate for each domain and subdomain with its own private key.
  • Allow usage of imported certificates only from authenticated and trusted partners of your organization in ACM. When wildcard certificates are imported into AWS Certificate Manager (ACM), security threat risk is high as the user might hold an unencrypted copy of the certificate’s private key.
  • Recommended best practice is to always use a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) in SSL/TLS ACM certificates.
  • To avoid misuse of generated certificates, perform frequent audits of AWS environment for trusted certificates and validate audit reports.
  • Turn on AWS CloudTrail and CloudWatch alarms: CloudTrail logging helps track the history of AWS API calls and monitor AWS deployments. CloudTrail can be integrated with applications for performing automated logging and monitoring activities. Enabling the CloudWatch alarm feature helps in alerting through notifications when configured metrics breach.


AWS ACM Private CA (ACM PCA)

Below are the recommended best practices that can help you use AWS ACM PCA more effectively.

  • AWS recommends documenting all your policies and practices for operating your CA, including CA hierarchy, architecture diagram, CA validation period policies, path length, etc.
    The CA structure and policies above can be captured in two documents known as Certificate Policy (CP) and Certificate Practice Statement (CPS). Refer to RFC 3647 for a framework for capturing important information about your CA operations.
  • Root CA should, in general, only be used to issue a certificate for intermediate CAs.
  • Creating a Root CA and Subordinate CA in two different AWS account is recommended best practice.
  • The CA administrator role should be separate from users who need access only to issue end-entity certificates.
  • Turn on CloudTrail logging before you create and start operating a private CA. With CloudTrail, you can retrieve a history of AWS API calls for your account to monitor your AWS deployments.
  • It is a best practice to update the private key for your private CA periodically. You can update a key by importing a new CA certificate or replacing the private CA with a new CA.
  • Delete the unused private CA permanently.
  • ACM Private CA recommends using the Amazon S3 Block Public Access (BPA) feature on buckets that contain CRLs. This avoids unnecessarily exposing details of your private PKI to potential enemies. BPA is an S3 best practice and is enabled by default on new buckets.

Google Cloud Certificate Authority Services

This topic outlines some of the best practices that can help you use Certificate Authority Service more effectively.

  • Role and access control: Individuals shouldn’t be assigned more than one role at any given time. Everyone holding an assigned role should be adequately briefed and trained on their responsibilities and security practices. If you want to assign a diverse set of permissions to an individual, it is recommended that you create a custom role using IAM.
  • In most cases, it is recommended to use the Enterprise tier to create a certificate authority (CA) pool that issues certificates to other CAs and end-entities.
  • While creating a CA pool, it is recommended to carefully consider the DevOps tier, as it does not support certificate revocation.
  • Secure CA signing keys by leveraging Cloud HSM.
  • Enable cloud audit logs to monitor access and use of Cloud HSM signing keys.
  • It is recommended not to import an existing external CA with issued certificates into CA service.
  • For a Root CA and Subordinate CA, it is recommended to use the most significant key size available for that algorithm family.
    • For RSA, the largest supported key size is 4096 bits.
    • For ECDSA, the largest supported key size is 384 bits.

    (For subordinate CAs with a shorter lifetime, it is sufficient to use smaller key sizes, such as 2048 bits for RSA or 256 bits for ECDSA.)

  • It is recommended that the authors of the certificate template grant the CA service user role to the members in the organization who might use that certificate template.
#CategoriesMicrosoft PKIAWS Certificate Manager (ACM)AWS ACM Private CA (ACM PCA)Google Cloud – Certificate Authority Services (CAS)
1Root CARoot CA is deployed on-premises and kept offlineAWS Certificate Manager is a service using which you can easily provision, manage and deploy public/private SSL/TLS certificates for use with AWS services and internal connected resources.Root CA can be deployed in AWS cloud or Issuing CA CSR can be Signed by the External Root CA.Root CA can be deployed in the google cloud – certificate authority services or Issuing CA CSR can be signed by the External Root CA.
2Certificate TemplateIt is not recommended to use the default Certificate template. Certificate templates can be configured.Use AWS CloudFormation templates to issue private certificates using AWS Certificate Manager (ACM).ACM Private CA supports four varieties of certificate template.

 

  1. Base template – pre-defined templates in which no passthrough parameters are allowed.
  2. CSRPassthrough templates – Templates that extend their corresponding base template versions by allowing CSR passthrough.
  3. APIPassthrough templates – Templates that extend their corresponding base template versions by allowing API passthrough.
  4. APICSRPassthrough templates – Templates that extend their corresponding base template versions by allowing both API and CSR passthrough.
A new Certificate template can be created in each project and location in Google cloud CAS service.
3key algorithm and Key SizeMicrosoft PKI supports the Key size as per NIST 800 standards. The minimum key size is 2048- bit. However, for any CA that has certificate expiration more than 15 years in the future, it is recommended to use RSA must be 4096 or greater or, if the CA key uses ECC, the CA key must use either the P-384 or P-521 curve.The following public key algorithms and key sizes are supported by ACM:
2048-bit RSA (RSA_2048)
3072-bit RSA (RSA_3072)
4096-bit RSA (RSA_4096)
Elliptic Prime Curve 256 bit (EC_prime256v1)
Elliptic Prime Curve 384 bit (EC_secp384r1)
Elliptic Prime Curve 384 bit (EC_secp384r1)
AWS ACM Private CA supports the following cryptographic algorithm and Key size for private key generation. With the advanced option, following algorithms are available: (This list applies only to certificates issued directly by ACM Private CA through its console, API, or command line.)

 

  • RSA 2048
  • RSA 4096
  • ECDSA P256
  • ECDSA P384
The following key algorithm and key size is used in Google cloud:

 

  • 2048-bit RSA (RSA_2048)
  • 3072-bit RSA (RSA_3072)
  • 4096-bit RSA (RSA_4096)
  • ECDSA P256
  • ECDSA P384

For a new root CA or a subordinate CA that is expected to have a lifetime in the order of years, google recommends that you use the largest key size available for that algorithm family. (For RSA, the largest supported key size is 4096 bits. and for ECDSA, the largest supported key size is 384 bits.)

4Hashing algorithmIt is recommended to use the advance hashing algorithm (SHA 256 and above) for the new deployment and the existing PKI.Certificates managed in AWS Certificate Manager use RSA keys with a 2048-bit modulus and SHA-256. ACM does not currently have the ability to manage other certificates such as ECDSA certificates.ACM Private CA supports the following certificate signing algorithm. This list applies only to certificates issued directly by ACM Private CA through its console, API, or command line.

 

  • SHA256WITHECDSA
  • SHA384WITHECDSA
  • SHA512WITHECDSA
  • SHA256WITHRSA
  • SHA384WITHRSA
  • SHA512WITHRSA
Google cloud certificate authority services supports SHA256, SHA384.
5RFC ComplianceCA Certificates within the Microsoft IT PKI shall be X.509 Version 3 and shall conform to the RFC 5280: Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure Certificate and CRL Profile, dated May 2008. As applicable to the Certificate type, Certificates conform to the current version of the CA/Browser Forum Baseline Requirements for the Issuance and Management of Publicly Trusted Certificates.AWS Certificate Manager is responsible for protecting the infrastructure that runs AWS services in the AWS cloud. AWS also provides services that can be used securely. Third-party auditors regularly test and verify the effectiveness of the security as part of the AWS Compliance Programs (https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/programs/)Certain constraints appropriate to a private CA are enforced as per RFC 5280. However, ACM Private CA does not enforce all constraints defined in RFC 5280.Certificate Authority Service uses the ZLint tool to ensure that X.509 certificates are valid as per RFC 5280 rules. However, CA Service does not enforce all RFC 5280 requirements, and it is possible for a CA created using CA Service to issue a non-compliant certificate.
6CRL (Certificate Revocation List) Distribution pointMicrosoft PKI deposits the CRL under LDAP (Lightweight directory access protocol) and HTTP.AWS support centre can help to revoke a certificate in AWS Certificate Manager. You need to raise a support ticket/case for the same.ACM Private CA automatically deposits the CRL in the Amazon S3 bucket you designate.CRL Publication must be enabled on a CA pool for it to publish the CRL. CRL publication can be enabled during the creation of a CA pool.
7Storage of Private KeysIt is recommended to store the private keys in a FIPS 140-2 level 3 compliant HSMAWS certificate Manager stores the certificate and its corresponding private key and uses AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS) to help protect the private key.By default, the private keys for private CAs are stored in AWS-managed hardware security model (HSMs). The HSMs comply with FIPS PUB 140-2 Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules.CA keys are stored in Cloud HSM, FIPS 140-2 Level 3 validated and available in regions across the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.
8Audit reportsAuditing can be enabled on a CA in windows server to provide an audit log for all certificate services management tasks.AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) is integrated with AWS CloudTrail, a service that records actions taken by a user, role, or an AWS service in ACM. CloudTrail is enabled by default on your AWS account.Audit reports are created to list all the certificates that ACM private CA has issued or revoked. The report is saved in a new or existing specified S3 bucket.Cloud Audit logs can be used in Certificate Authority Services. Cloud Audit Logs provides the following audit logs for each Cloud project, folder, and organization:

 

  • Admin Activity audit logs
  • Data Access audit logs
  • System Event audit logs
  • Policy Denied audit logs
9Best Practices (high-level)
  1. Make a detailed plan of your PKI infrastructure before deployment.
  2. Avoid installing ADCS on a domain controller.
  3. Root CA should be standalone and offline.
  4. Do not issue certificates to end-entity from a Root CA.
  5. Enable auditing events for both Root and Issuing CA.
  6. Secure the Private key with HSM (FIPS 140-2 level 3)

(More details on the previous section)

ACM Certificate expiry check: Ensure removal of expired SSL/TLS certificates managed by ACM. This eliminates the risk of deploying an invalid SSL/TLS certificate in resources that trigger the front end. This might cause a loss of credibility for business as well.

 

  • ACM Certificate validity check: Ensure requests that arrive during the SSL/TLS certificate issue or renewal process are validated regularly.
  • Root Certificate Authority (CA) usage: It is always a best practice to minimize the use of Root CA. Amazon recommends creating a separate account for Root CA.
  • Transport layer protection is vital to ensure security. It is recommended to use only TLS version 1.1 or above and not use SSL as it is no longer secure.

(More details on the previous section)

Recommended best practices to use ACM PCA effectively:

 

  1. Documenting CA structure and Policies.
  2. Minimize use of Root CA.
  3. Give the Root CA its own AWS Account.
  4. Separate administrators and issuer roles.
  5. Turn on CloudTrail login.
  6. Rotate the CA private Key.
  7. Delete an unused CA (AWS bills you for a CA until it is deleted).
Role and access control: Individuals shouldn’t be assigned more than one role at any given time. Everyone holding an assigned role should be adequately briefed and trained on their responsibilities and security practices. If you want to assign a diverse set of permissions to an individual, it is recommended that you create a custom role using IAM.

 

  • In most cases, it is recommended to use the Enterprise tier to create a certificate authority (CA) pool that issues certificates to other CAs and end-entities.
  • While creating a CA pool, it is recommended to carefully consider the DevOps tier, as it does not support certificate revocation.

(More details on the previous section)

10CA hierarchyIn a hierarchical PKI (a typical deployment), there are generally three types of hierarchies – one-tier, two-tier, and three-tier.AWS Certificate Manager is a service using which you can easily provision, manage and deploy public/private SSL/TLS certificates with AWS services and internal connected resources.With ACM PCA, you can design and create a hierarchy of certificate authorities with up to five levels.When creating a subordinate CA that chains up to an external Root CA, the properties included in the CSR generated by CA Service must be preserved in the CA certificate signed by the external Root CA. The external CA can add additional extensions if it preserves the properties in the CSR. For example, the signed subordinate CA certificate must also include the same path length restriction if the CSR contains a path length restriction.
11Redundancy and Disaster RecoveryRedundancy and disaster recovery plans should be complete during a PKI deployment’s designing and implementation planning phase.ACM does not have an SLA. The ACM Private Certificate Authority managed private CA service has an SLA.ACM Private CA is available in multiple Regions, allowing the user to create redundant CAs. The ACM Private CA service operates with a service level agreement (SLA) of 99.9% availability.Google Cloud Certificate Authority services (CAS) are available in multiple regions, which allows redundancy. Google Cloud (CAS)operates with a service level agreement (SLA) of 99.9% availability.
Resources:
https://docs.aws.amazon.com/acm-pca/latest/userguide/PcaWelcome.html
https://cloud.google.com/certificate-authority-service

http://www.microsoft.com/pkiops/Docs/Content/policy/Microsoft_PKI_Services_CP_v3.1.pdf

About the Author

Parnashree Saha is a data protection senior consultant at Encryption Consulting LLC working with PKI, AWS cryptographic services, GCP cryptographic services, and other data protection solutions such as Vormetric, Voltage etc.

Search any posts

A collection of Encryption related products and resources that every organization should have!

Cyber security experts conference 2022

Free Downloads

Datasheet of Encryption Consulting Services

Encryption Consulting is a customer focused cybersecurity firm that provides a multitude of services in all aspects of encryption for our clients.

Download

Read time: 10 minutes, 30 seconds

In this discussion whiteboard, let us understand what is an e-signature? What is digital signature? What is meant by electronic signature? Are both the signatures similar or different? Which signature is more secure and what are various use cases for digital signature as well as electronic signatures? How is code signing relevant to digital signature? What is Encryption Consulting’s CodeSign Secure and how is it relevant to your organization? Let’s get into the topic to understand responses to these questions:

If you are new to the concept of e-signatures then there are high chances of getting confused between “Digital signature” and “Electronic signature”. Quite often you would encounter people use both digital signature and electronic signature terms interchangeably which is not completely true as there are some key significant differences between these two types of e-signatures. The major difference is security – digital signatures are mainly used to secure documentation and provide authorization as they are authorized by Certificate Authorities (CAs) where as electronic signatures only provide the intent of the signer. Let us first understand what is a digital signature and electronic signature.

What is a Digital Signature?

Digital signature is a type of electronic signature as the both are meant to be used of document signing except that digital signatures are more secure and authentic. In digital signature, the signer of the document is mandated to have a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) based digital certificate authorized by certificate authority linked to the document. This provides authenticity to the document as it is authorized by trusted certificate authorities. Let us understand in a simple way about digital signature by taking paper based documents as example. There are usually two concerns when you involve in documentation process, one is the authenticity of the person signing the contract and other is whether the document integrity is protected without any tampering. To overcome these concerns we have notaries in place for providing authorization and safeguarding integrity of the document.

Similar to the notary in physical contracts we have certificate authorities (CAs) authorizing digital signatures with PKI based digital certificates. In digital signatures, a unique fingerprint is formed between the digital document and the PKI based digital certificate which is leveraged to achieve the authenticity of the document and its source, assurance of tamper proof document.

Currently there are two major document processing platforms which provide digital signature service with strong PKI based digital certificates:

  • Adobe Signature
  • Microsoft Word Signature

Adobe Signature: There are two types of signatures provided by Adobe – Certified and Approval signatures. Certificate signature is used for authentication purpose where a blue ribbon is displayed in the top of the document indicating the actual author of the document and issuer of PKI based digital certificate. Approval signature on the other hand captures the physical signature of the issuer or author and other significant details.

Microsoft Signature: Microsoft supports two types of signatures one is visible signature and other is invisible signature. In visible signature, there is a signature field provided for signing similar to physical signature. Invisible signature is more secure as it cannot be accessed or tampered by unauthorized users. Invisible signature is commonly used for document authentication and enhanced security.

What is electronic signature?

An electronic signature is not as secure and complex as digital signature as there are no PKI based certificates involved. Electronic signature is mainly used to identify the intent of the document issuer or author and it can be in any form such as electronic symbol or process. Electronic signature can be captured in as simple way as check box as its primary purpose is to capture the intention to sign contract or document. These signatures are also legally binding. In instances where the document is required to be signed by two parties for binding legally to execute certain duties and do not require high level of security and authorization electronic signatures are used instead of digital signatures.

Key differences between digital signature and electronic signature

Let us understand the key differences between the two signatures by comparing the crucial parameters in a tabular form.

ParameterDigital SignatureElectronic Signature
PurposeMain purpose is to secure the document or contract through PKI based digital certificatePurpose of electronic signature is to verify the document or contract
AuthorizationYes. Digital signatures can be validated and verified by certificate authorities providing PKI certificatesNo. Usually it is not possible to authorize electronic signatures
SecurityComprises of better security features due to digital certificate based authorizationComprises of less number of security features compared to digital signature
Types of SignsIn general two types are available. One by Adobe and other by MicrosoftMain types of electronic signatures are verbal, scanned physical signatures, e-ticks
VerificationYes. Digital signatures can be verifiedNo. Electronic signatures cannot be verified
FocusPrimary focus is to secure the document or contractPrimary focus is to show intention of signing a document or contract
BenefitsPreferred majorly more than electronic signature due to high level of securityEasy to use compared to digital signature but less secure

As per the above comparison it is clearly evident that digital signature takes upper hand compared to electronic signatures. However, while considering the legally binding objective both the signatures will serve the purpose. Digital signatures are now highly preferred due to their enhanced security through PKI based certificates which will provide the much required authorization and integrity of the document.

PKI Assessment


What is Code Signing?

Code signing is the process of applying a digital signature to any software program that is intended for release and distribution to another party or user, with two key objectives. One is to prove the authenticity and ownership of the software. The second is to prove the integrity of the software i.e. prove that the software has not been tampered with, for example by the insertion of any malicious code. Code signing applies to any type of software: executables, archives, drivers, firmware, libraries, packages, patches, and updates. An introduction to code signing has been provided in earlier articles on this blog. In this article, we look at some of the business benefits of signing code.

Code signing is a process to validate the authenticity of software and it is one type of digital signature based on PKI. Code signing is a process to confirm the authenticity and originality of digital information such as a piece of software code. It assures users that this digital information is valid and establishes the legitimacy of the author. Code signing also ensures that this piece of digital information has not changed or been revoked after it was validly signed. Code Signing plays an important role as it can enable identification of a legitimate software versus malware or rogue code. Digitally signed code ensures that the software running on computers and devices is trusted and unmodified.

Software powers your organization and reflects the true value of your business. Protecting the software with a robust code signing process is vital without limiting access to the code, assuring this digital information is not malicious code and establishing the legitimacy of the author.

Encryption consulting’s (EC) CodeSign Secure platform

Encryption consulting (EC) CodeSign secure platform provides you with the facility to sign your software code and programs digitally. Hardware security modules (HSMs) store all the private keys used for code signing and other digital signatures of your organization. Organizations leveraging CodeSign Secure platform by EC can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Easy integration with leading Hardware Security Module (HSM) vendors
  • Authorized users only access to the platform
  • Key management service to avoid any unsafe storage of keys
  • Enhanced performance by eliminating any bottlenecks caused


Why to use EC’s CodeSign Secure platform?

There are several benefits of using Encryption consulting’s CodeSign Secure for performing your code sign operations. CodeSign Secure helps customers stay ahead of the curve by providing a secure Code Signing solution with tamper proof storage for the keys and complete visibility and control of Code Signing activities. The private keys of the code-signing certificate can be stored in an HSM to eliminate the risks associated with stolen, corrupted, or misused keys. Client-side hashing ensures build performance and avoids unnecessary movement of files to provide a greater level of security. Client-side hashing ensures build performance and avoids unnecessary movement of files to provide a greater level of security. Client-side hashing ensures build performance and avoids unnecessary movement of files to provide a greater level of security. Seamless authentication is provided to code signing clients via CodeSign Secure platform to make use of state-of-the-art security features including client-side hashing, multi-factor authentication, device authentication, and as well as multi-tier approvers workflows, and more. Support for InfoSec policies to improve adoption of the solution and enable different business teams to have their own workflow for Code Signing. CodeSign Secure is embedded with a state-of-the-art client-side hash signing mechanism resulting in less data travelling over the network, making it a highly efficient Code Signing system for the complex cryptographic operations occurring in the HSM.

Explore more about our CodeSign Secure platform features and benefits in the below link:
https://www.encryptionconsulting.com/code-signing-solution/

Use cases covered as part of Encryption Consulting’s CodeSign Secure platform

There are multiple use cases that can be implemented using CodeSign Secure platform by Encryption Consulting. Majority of the use cases can be relevant to digital signature concept discuss above. CodeSign Secure platform will cater to all round requirements of your organization. Let us look into some of the major use cases covered under Encryption Consulting’s CodeSign Secure:

  • Code Signing: Sign code from any platform, including Apple, Microsoft, Linux, and much more.
  • Document Signing: Digitally sign documents using keys that are secured in your HSMs.
  • Docker Image Signing: Digital fingerprinting to docker images while storing keys in HSMs.
  • Firmware Code Signing: Sign any type of firmware binaries to authenticate the manufacturer to avoid firmware code tampering.

Organizations with sensitive data, patented code/programs can benefit from CodeSign Secure platform. Online distribution of the software is becoming de-facto today considering the speed to market, reduced costs, scale, and efficiency advantages over traditional software distribution channels such as retail stores or software CDs shipped to customers. Code signing is a must for online distribution. For example, third party software publishing platforms increasingly require applications (both desktop as well as mobile) to be signed before agreeing to publish them. Even if you are able to reach a large number of users, without code signing, the warnings shown during download and install of unsigned software are often enough to discourage the user from proceeding with the download and install. Encryption Consulting will provide strongly secured keys in FIPS certified encrypted storage systems (HSMs) during the code signing operation. Faster code signing process can be achieved through CodeSign secure as the signing occurs locally in the build machine. Reporting and auditing features for full visibility on all private key access and usage to InfoSec and compliance teams.

Get more information on CodeSign Secure in the datasheet link provided below:
https://www.encryptionconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Encryption-Consulting-Code-Signing-Datasheet.pdf

Which signature to use for your organization?

This solely depends on the purpose and intent of using the signature for your organization. You might need to perform a clear assessment or approach expert consultants like us – Encryption consulting to understand which certificate will suit your purpose better.

Encryption Consulting’s Managed PKI

Encryption Consulting LLC (EC) will completely offload the Public Key Infrastructure environment, which means EC will take care of building the PKI infrastructure to lead and manage the PKI environment (on-premises, PKI in the cloud, cloud-based hybrid PKI infrastructure) of your organization.

Encryption Consulting will deploy and support your PKI using a fully developed and tested set of procedures and audited processes. Admin rights to your Active Directory will not be required and control over your PKI and its associated business processes will always remain with you. Furthermore, for security reasons the CA keys will be held in FIPS140-2 Level 3 HSMs hosted either in in your secure datacentre or in our Encryption Consulting datacentre in Dallas, Texas.

Conclusion

Encryption Consulting’s PKI-as-a-Service, or managed PKI, allows you to get all the benefits of a well-run PKI without the operational complexity and cost of operating the software and hardware required to run the show. Your teams still maintain the control they need over day-to-day operations while offloading back-end tasks to a trusted team of PKI experts.

About the Author

Parnashree Saha is a data protection senior consultant at Encryption Consulting LLC working with PKI, AWS cryptographic services, GCP cryptographic services, and other data protection solutions such as Vormetric, Voltage etc.

Search any posts

A collection of Encryption related products and resources that every organization should have!

Cyber security experts conference 2022

Free Downloads

Datasheet of Encryption Consulting Services

Encryption Consulting is a customer focused cybersecurity firm that provides a multitude of services in all aspects of encryption for our clients.

Download

Read time: 6 minutes

What is Diffie-Hellman (DH) Key Exchange?

Diffie-Hellman (DH), also known as an exponential key exchange, was published in 1976. DH key exchange is a key exchange protocol that allows the sender and receiver to communicate over a public channel to establish a mutual secret without being transmitted over the internet. DH securely generates a unique session key for encryption and decryption that has the additional property of forwarding secrecy.

In short, the trick is to use a mathematical function that’s easy to calculate in one direction but very difficult to reverse, even when some of the aspects of the exchange are known.

As a typical example with Alice and Bob:

  • Let’s say Alice and Bob agreed on a random color, “yellow,” to start with.
  • Alice and Bob set a private color for themselves, and they do not let the other party know what color they chose. Let’s assume Alice decides “red” and Bob decides “Aqua.”
  • Next, Alice and Bob combine their secret color ( Alice-red; Bob: Aqua) with the “yellow” (“Common color.”)
  • Once they have combined the colors, they send the result to the other party. For example, Alice obtains “Sky Blue,” and Bob receives “orange.”
  • Once they have received the combined results of their partners, they then add their secret colors to it. For example, Alice adds the sky blue with the red, and bob adds the Aqua with the orange.
  • As a result, they both come out with the same color, “Brown.”

The crucial part of the DH key exchange is that both parties end up with the same color without ever sending the common secret across the communication channel. Thus, if an attacker tries to listen to the exchange, it is challenging for the attacker to find the two colors used to get the mixed color (Brown).

Is the Diffie-Hellman key exchange used in modern cryptography?

Yes,  Diffie-Hellman is used in modern crypto. It is the standard for generating a session key in public. The algorithm has a high processor overhead; it is not used for bulk or stream encryption but rather to create the initial session key for starting the encrypted session. Afterward, under the protection of this session key, other cryptographic protocols negotiate and trade keys for the remainder of the encrypted session. Think of DH as an expensive method of passing that initial secret. The more efficient and specialized cryptographic algorithms can protect the confidentiality of the remainder of the session.

Uses of Diffie-Hellman

DH is one of the most popular key exchange protocols. There are various uses of DH to support software and hardware.

  • While using DH key exchange, the sender and receiver have no prior knowledge of each other.
  • Communication can take place through an insecure channel.
  • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)
  • Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS)
  • Secure Shell (SSH)
  • Internet protocol security (IPsec)

Limitations of Diffie-Hellman

  • Does not authenticate either party involved in the exchange.
  • It cannot be used for asymmetric exchange.
  • It cannot be used to encrypt messages.
  • It cannot be used to digital signature

What is RSA Algorithm?

RSA Algorithm is used to perform public-key cryptography. In the RSA Algorithm, the sender encrypts the sender (Bob) encrypts the data to be transferred using his/her public key, and the receiver (Alice) decrypts the encrypted data using his/her private key.

A typical example, how public key cryptography works?

In public-key cryptography, it uses two keys, one key to encrypt the data and the other key to decrypt it. The data sender will keep the private secret key and send the public key to all the receivers or recipients of the data. The below diagram shows how public key cryptography works.

Public Key Cryptography
  • Bob uses Alice’s public key to encrypt the message and sends it to Alice.
  • Alice will use her private key to decrypt the message and get the plain text.

Uses of RSA

RSA has widely used cryptography in a network environment, and it supports the software and hardware as mentioned below:

  • Assures confidentiality, integrity, and authentication of electronic communication.
  • Secure electronic communication.
  • RSA is used in security protocols such as IPsec, TLS/SSL, SSH.
  • Used for signing digital signature.
  • High-speed and straightforward encryption.
  • Easy to implement and understand.
  • It prevents the third party from intercepting messages.

Limitations of RSA

  • Prolonged key generation.
  • Vulnerable when it comes to Key exchange if poorly implemented.
  • Slow signing and decryption process.
  • RSA doesn’t provide perfect forward secrecy

Diffie- Hellman Key Exchange Vs. RSA

Asymmetric key or public key cryptographic algorithm is far more superior to symmetric key cryptography when the security of confidential data is concerned. The asymmetric key includes many cryptographic algorithms. Both Diffie- Hellman Key Exchange and RSA have advantages and disadvantages. Both algorithms can be modified for better performance. RSA can be mixed with ECC to improve security and performance. DH can be integrated with digital and public key certificates to prevent attacks.

ParametersRSADiffie-Hellman (DH) Key Exchange
Public Key encryption algorithmRSA uses the public-key encryption algorithm.DH also uses the Public-key encryption algorithm.
PurposeStorage enough for commercial purpose like online shopping.Storage enough for commercial purposes.
AuthenticationAssures confidentiality, integrity, and authentication of electronic communication.Does not authenticate either party involved in the exchange
Key StrengthRSA 1024 bits is less robust than Diffie-Hellman.Diffie-Hellman 1024 bits is much more robust.
AttacksSusceptible to low exponent, typical modulus, and cycle attack.Sensitive to man in the middle attack.
Forward SecrecyRSA doesn’t provide perfect forward secrecy.Forward secrecy is in DH key exchange.

Conclusion

While the Diffie-Hellman key exchange may seem complex, it is fundamental to security exchanging data online. As long as it is implemented alongside an appropriate authentication method and the numbers have been appropriately selected, it is not considered vulnerable to attack. The DH  key exchange was an innovative method for helping two unknown parties communicate safely when it was developed in 1976. While we now implement newer versions with larger keys to protect against modern technology, the protocol itself looks like it will continue to be secure until the arrival of quantum computing and the advanced attacks that will come with it.

RSA doesn’t provide perfect forward secrecy, which is another disadvantage compared to the ephemeral Diffie-Hellman key exchange. Collectively, these reasons are why, in many situations, it’s best only to apply RSA in conjunction with the Diffie-Hellman key exchange.

Alternatively, the DH key exchange can be combined with an algorithm like the Digital Signature Standard (DSS) to provide authentication, key exchange, confidentiality, and check the integrity of the data. In such a situation, RSA is not necessary for securing the connection.

The security of both DH and RSA depends on how it is implemented. It isn’t easy to come to a conclusion which one is more superior to the other. You will usually prefer RSA over DH and vice-versa based on interoperability constraints and depending on the context.

Resources:

About the Author

Parnashree Saha is a data protection senior consultant at Encryption Consulting LLC working with PKI, AWS cryptographic services, GCP cryptographic services, and other data protection solutions such as Vormetric, Voltage etc.

Search any posts

A collection of Encryption related products and resources that every organization should have!

Cyber security experts conference 2022

Free Downloads

Datasheet of Encryption Consulting Services

Encryption Consulting is a customer focused cybersecurity firm that provides a multitude of services in all aspects of encryption for our clients.

Download

Read time: 5 minutes

Payment Gateway and Payment Processor are two critical links in the payment processing chain. As a business owner, you have probably heard these terms and wondered what the difference is. In short, although the two phrases seem synonymous; they are not. In fact, Payment Gateway and Payment Processor are two entirely different things.

This article will introduce you to Payment Gateway and Payment Processors, along with explaining how the two work. Suppose you plan on accepting credit card payments online. In that case, you will probably  need both a Payment Gateway and a Payment Processor, so knowing each is critical to making the right choice for your business.

Before jumping into the details of payment gateway and payment processor, we should understand the role of the parties involved in any transaction on your business platforms. When a customer initiates a transaction with your business, these are the four parties involved:

  • The customer
  • The issuing bank (that issues the customer’s debit card or credit card)
  • the merchant,
  • and the acquiring bank (that collects the funds from the issuing bank)

Merchant and the customer: These are the parties that start the transaction. You offer a product or a service that your customer is willing to buy and pay for.

Banks and the bank accounts: The bank and the bank accounts of the customers or merchant are the other parties for the transaction process. The customer bank account is hosted by the issuing bank The merchant’s bank account (called a merchant account) and its host bank are called acquiring banks. Every merchant needs a merchant account to accept money from credit or debit cards.

What is a Payment Gateway?

A Payment Gateway is a software that encrypts and sends the customers’ personal and bank details to the Payment Processor securely. An online business needs to have a Payment Gateway to accept credit card payments, amongst other alternative payment methods that their customers might prefer.

From the customer’s perspective, the Payment Gateway is the final checkout page on your website, i.e., the page where they put in their payment information, such as a credit card number, and click the “buy now” button.

The customer interacts with a Payment Gateway when they enter their payment card information on the checkout page. When they proceed to pay, the gateway encrypts the customer’s personal and bank information so that hackers cannot steal and misuse it.

The Payment Gateway technology involves a specific type of encryption called SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption. The customer’s sensitive data is encrypted as the Payment Gateway forwards the details from the customer’s system to the issuing bank.

How does a Payment Gateway work?

Below are the steps which describe how a Payment Gateway works:

  1. The Payment Gateway forwards a customer’s encrypted sensitive data from the customer’s computer/device to the issuing bank.
  2. Once the data reaches at the issuing bank, the Payment Gateway decodes the encrypted data and present it to the bank in a usable format.
  3. The issuing bank then authenticates or declines the information, entered by the customer.
  4. Once the issuing bank has confirmed the authenticity of the customer’s request, the Payment Gateway uses SSL encryption to securely deliver the transaction details to the Payment Processor (explained below), which then completes the transaction.

[NOTE: Sometimes banks consider checking other information such as physical location of the requesting device/system, recent activities of the customer, etc., before authenticating the customer and payment card]

Most common types of Payment Gateway in the market

There are many ways you can integrate your payment gateway with your business. We can spend the whole day here, if we start talking about everything, so let us talk about the most common types of payment gateway in the market.

What is a Payment Processor?

In simple terms, the Payment processor is a financial Institution that works as a mediator between the cardholder/customer, merchant, acquiring bank, the payment gateway, and the issuing bank to process online payments.

How does a Payment Gateway work?

The role of a payment processor is to transmit sensitive customer information in the following way:

  1. The payment gateway sends encrypted customer details to the payment processor.
  2. The payment processor sends the customer’s data to the merchant account bank.
  3. The merchant account bank sends a request to the customer’s card-issuing bank to verify the card holder’s identity and the transaction’s validity.
  4. The customer’s card issuing bank sends a rejection or approval message to the payment processor, directing it back to the payment gateway.
  5. The payment gateway notifies the customer whether the transaction has been approved.
  6. If the transaction is approved, the customer continues with the checkout process to finalize the transaction.
  7. After the transaction is finalized, the processor sends information to the card-issuing bank to transfer funds to the merchant account.

NOTE: Sometimes, the payment processor is the same institution as the merchant account issuer, so data is sent directly to the customer’s card issuing bank.

Differences between a payment gateway and a payment processor

The Prioritized Approach provides six milestones. The table below summarizes the high-level goals and intentions of each milestone.

Payment GatewayPayment Processor
Payment gateway is a tool/service that approves or declines transaction between your website and your customerA payment processor is a financial institution that executes the transaction to obtain your funds from the customer properly.
Payment gateways can be integrated to plug into your business accounting software or eCommerce store, allowing you to process credit cards directly within your existing software.The Payment Processor will set up a merchant account that allows your business to accept credit cards.
Integrating a Payment gateway is an easy way to accept payment online.Using a Payment Processor ensures proper funds on credit card transactions. The payment processor helps direct the transfer of the amount from the customer’s bank account to the merchant bank account.

Conclusion

The most common use of a gateway is to accept payments for items and offerings online; however, in today’s payment landscape, the gateway technology has impressively expanded to create a seamless buying experience across all sales channels and devices. For an e-commerce business, it is required to choose both the payment services (payment gateway and payment processor) to process online payment.

Most importantly, the payment processor does not deal directly with an authenticator; the Payment Gateway plays that role. Thus choosing the right payment gateway is very important to keep your customer’s sensitive data securely.

About the Author

Parnashree Saha is a data protection senior consultant at Encryption Consulting LLC working with PKI, AWS cryptographic services, GCP cryptographic services, and other data protection solutions such as Vormetric, Voltage etc.

Search any posts

A collection of Encryption related products and resources that every organization should have!

Cyber security experts conference 2022

Free Downloads

Datasheet of Encryption Consulting Services

Encryption Consulting is a customer focused cybersecurity firm that provides a multitude of services in all aspects of encryption for our clients.

Download

Read time: 5 minutes

Spoofing is an impersonation of a user, device, or client on the Internet. It is often used during a cyberattack to disguise the source of attack traffic.

The most common forms of spoofing are:

  1. DNS server spoofing

    Modifies a DNS server to redirect a domain name to a different IP address. It is typically used to spread viruses.

  2. ARP spoofing

    Links a perpetrator’s MAC address to a legitimate IP address through spoofed ARP messages. It is typically used in denial of service (DoS) and man-in-the-middle assaults.

  3. IP address spoofing

    Disguises an attacker’s origin IP. It is typically used in DoS assaults.

What is IP spoofing?

IP spoofing is the creation of Internet Protocol (IP) packets which have a modified source address to either hide the identity of the sender, to impersonate another computer system, or both. It is a technique often used by bad actors to invoke DDoS attacks against a target device or infrastructure surrounding that device.

Sending and receiving IP packets is a primary way in which networked computers and other devices communicate and constitutes the basis of the modern Internet. All IP packets contain a header which precedes the body of the packet and contains important routing information, including the source address. In a normal packet, the source IP address is the address of the sender of the packet, If the packet has been spoofed, the source address will be forged.

IP Spoofing is analogous to an attacker sending a package to someone with the wrong return address listed. If the person receiving the package wants to stop the sender from sending packages, blocking all packages from the bogus address will do little good, as the return address is easily changed. Similarly, if the receiver wants to respond to the return address, their response package will go somewhere other than to the real sender. The ability to spoof the addresses of packets is a core vulnerability exploited by many DDoS attacks.

How does IP spoofing work?

To start, a bit of background on the Internet is in order. The data transmitted over the Internet is first broken into multiple packets, and those packets are transmitted independently and reassembled at the other end. Each packet has an IP (Internet Protocol) header that contains information about the packet, including the source IP address and the destination IP address.
In IP spoofing, a hacker uses tools to modify the source address in the packet header to make the receiving computer system think the packet is from a trusted source, such as another computer on a legitimate network, and accept it. Because this occurs at the network level, there are no external signs of tampering.
IP spoofing facilitates anonymity by concealing source identities. This can be advantageous for cybercriminals for these three reasons.

  1. Spoofed IP addresses enable attackers to hide their identities from law enforcement and victims.
  2. The computers and networks targeted are not always aware that they’ve been compromised, so they don’t send out alerts.
  3. Because spoofed IP addresses look like they are from trusted sources, they’re able to bypass firewalls and other security checks that might otherwise blacklist them as a malicious source.

What are the different types of IP spoofing attacks?

IP spoofing attacks can take several forms. It depends on the vulnerabilities of victims and the goals of the attackers. Here are a few common malicious uses for IP spoofing:

  1. Masking botnet devices

    IP spoofing can be used to gain access to computers by masking botnets, which are a group of connected computers that perform repetitive tasks to keep websites functioning. IP spoof attacks mask these botnets and use their interconnection for malicious purposes. That includes flooding targeted websites, servers, and networks with data and crashing them, along with sending spam and various forms of malware.

  2. DDoS attacks

    IP spoofing is commonly used to launch a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack is a brute force attempt to slow down or crash a server. Hackers can use spoofed IP addresses to overwhelm their targets with packets of data. This enables attackers to slow down or crash a website or computer network with a flood of Internet traffic, while masking their identity.

  3. Man-in-the-middle attacks

    IP spoofing is also commonly used in man-in-the-middle attacks, which work by interrupting communications between two computers. In this case, IP spoofing changes the packets and then sends them to the recipient computer without the original sender or receiver knowing they have been altered. An attacker becomes the so-called “man in the middle,” intercepting sensitive communications that they can use to commit crimes like identity theft and other frauds.

How to protect against IP spoofing

Here are steps you can take to help protect your devices, data, network, and connections from IP spoofing:

Use secure encryption protocols

to secure traffic to and from your server. Part of this is making sure “HTTPS” and the padlock symbol are always in the URL bar of websites you visit.

Be careful of phishing emails

from attackers asking you to update your password or any other login credentials or payment card data, along with taking actions like making donations. Phishing emails have been a profitable tool for cybercriminals during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of these spoofing emails promise the latest COVID-19 information, while others ask for donations. While some of the emails may look like they are from reputable organizations, they have been sent by scammers. Instead of clicking on the link provided in those phishing emails, manually type the website address into your browser to check if it is legitimate.

Take steps that will help make browsing the web safer

That includes not surfing the web on unsecure, public Wi-Fi. If you must visit public hotspots, use a virtual private network, or VPN, that encrypts your Internet connection to protect the private data you send and receive.

Security software solutions

that include a VPN can help. Antivirus software will scan incoming traffic to help ensure malware is not trying to get in. It is important to keep your software up to date. Updating your software ensures it has the latest encryption, authentication, and security patches.

Set up a firewall to help protect

your network by filtering traffic with spoofed IP addresses, verifying that traffic, and blocking access by unauthorized outsiders. This will help authenticate IP addresses.

Secure your home Wi-Fi network.

This involves updating the default usernames and passwords on your home router and all connected devices with strong, unique passwords that are a combination of 12 uppercase and lowercase letters, at least one symbol and at least one number. Another approach is using long passphrases that you can remember but would be hard for others to guess.

Monitor your network

for suspicious activity.

Use packet filtering systems

like ingress filtering, which is a computer networking technique that helps to ensure the incoming packets are from trusted sources, not hackers. This is done by looking at packets’ source headers. In a similar way, egress filtering can be used to monitor and restrict outbound traffic, or packets that don’t have legitimate source headers and fail to meet security policies.

Real uses for IP spoofing

IP spoofing also may be used by companies in non-malicious ways. For example, companies may use IP spoofing when performing website tests to make sure they work when they go live.
In this case, thousands of virtual users might be created to test a website. This non-malicious use helps gauge a website’s effectiveness and ability to manage numerous logins without being overwhelmed.

Resources:

www.us.norton.com/internetsecurity-malware-ip-spoofing-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work.html
www.cloudflare.com/learning/ddos/glossary/ip-spoofing/

About the Author

Parnashree Saha is a data protection senior consultant at Encryption Consulting LLC working with PKI, AWS cryptographic services, GCP cryptographic services, and other data protection solutions such as Vormetric, Voltage etc.

Search any posts

A collection of Encryption related products and resources that every organization should have!

Cyber security experts conference 2022

Free Downloads

Datasheet of Encryption Consulting Services

Encryption Consulting is a customer focused cybersecurity firm that provides a multitude of services in all aspects of encryption for our clients.

Download

Let's talk