Case Studies, Certificate Lifecycle Management Reading Time: 5 minutes

CertSecure Manager and Certificate-Based Outages in a Financial Firm 

Company Overview 

This organization is one of the leading financial firms in the United States, offering banking, investment, and banking services. For decades, it has been at the forefront of financial innovation and enhanced Customer Experience (CX). As it operates with multiple channels, which range from individuals to small businesses and corporate clients, using innovative technological solutions, it needs to maintain a strong focus on data protection, recognizing the financial information it handles. Though it focuses strongly on data protection, the organization has been a victim of certificate-based outages, which has deteriorated its reputation and data protection strategies. 

Challenges 

  1. Certificate Outages

    A certificate outage or certificate failure generally refers to an SSL/TLS certificate becoming invalid, revoked, or expired, rendering it unusable for establishing secure connections. Websites that rely on these certificates may experience disruptions, which can have negative ramifications as certificate outages leave them vulnerable to cyber intrusions and data breaches.

  2. Increased Risks

    A lack of quick response to replace and revoke weak or non-compliant certificates increases the risks associated with data breaches and cyber attacks, which are harmful to any organization. The lack of effective certificate management can be considered a reason why attackers love targeting digital certificates.

  3. Complicated Audits

    A lack of real-time visibility and reporting of every certificate across their multi-cloud and on-premise landscape leads to complicated audits, which can be considered a major issue for certificate management systems.

  4. Weak Crypto-Agility

    Crypto agility can be an approach to the solution required to meet the requirements of future and current data security. For an organization, weak cryptographic agility means a lack of diversification, which leads to security challenges.

Solutions 

  1. The CertSecure Manager is responsible for automating certificate renewal and issuance, which mitigates the risks of outages caused by expired certificates. It is also responsible for sending email notifications to Microsoft PKI admins, alerting them 30, 60, and 90 days before certificate expiration. This mitigates the issue of expiring certificates, which causes outages due to suboptimal management and monitoring methods.

  2. Restricted templates are employed by CertSecure Manager, which require the approval of PKI admins for particular certificate types. This additional layer of security ensures that only authentic entities can obtain certificates. This mitigates the issue of rogue certificates leading to compliance and security issues.

  3. It also offers a centralized “Certificate inventory dashboard,” which provides comprehensive insights into certificates within a designated Microsoft Certificate Authority. This feature also gives search and filtering options for easy certificate location and streamlines cross-functional certificate management for geographically dispersed teams.

  4. Integration of public CAs (Entrust, Digicert, and Sectigo) and private CAs (Microsoft CA) can also be done by CertSecure Manager. This unified approach simplifies the management of certificates while enhancing security and operational efficiency.

  5. CertSecure Manager provides robust policy controls to enhance compliance. Notable features include the capability to restrict the use of the same CSR for multiple certificates and to govern wildcard certificate generation. Furthermore, you can designate templates as “restricted,” necessitating PKI admin approval for issuance, thus ensuring continuous compliance.

Benefits 

The CertSecure Manager is responsible for automating certificate renewal and issuance, which mitigates the risks of outages caused by expired certificates. It is also responsible for sending email notifications to Microsoft PKI admins, alerting them 30, 60, and 90 days before certificate expiration. This helps reduce system downtime, ensures business continuity, and enables consumer trust.  

Restricted templates are also employed by the CertSecure Manager. This requires the approval of PKI admins for particular certificate types. This additional layer of security ensures that only authentic entities can obtain certificates. It generally leads to avoiding legal fines and reducing exposure to risks associated with data theft while improving data security and compliance. 

It even offers a centralized “Certificate Inventory Dashboard,” which provides insights about certificates within a Microsoft CA. This feature includes search and filtering options for easy certificate location, enhancing certificate management and reducing human effort. 

Conclusion

From the above case study, it is evident that CertSecure Manager can be considered a must-have ally for banking and financial institutions. It tackles challenges like expiring and rogue certificates, cross-functional intricacies, and compliance issues. This solution helps minimize legal risks and uninterrupted operations while enhancing data security and trust as well as continuity in these financial entities.  

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About the Author

Yathaarth Swaroop is a Consultant at Encryption Consulting, working with PKIs, HSMs and working as a consultant with high-profile clients.

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