Anything that is valuable needs to be secured. This has been the principle since times immemorial. In ancient times crops needed to be secured from external attackers. Then the need of security rose with every evolutionary step of humanity. Homes, money, jewels and everything valuable that can be stolen must be secured.
Now, with the rise of digital world, although assets have changed from physical to virtual, the core principle still remains the same. Spaces have turned into websites, banks have gone online, malls have turned into online stores and so on. But at every step of transaction in this intricate digital world, security is a key factor to ensure smoother operation of the system.
In earlier times, security need to be managed only in the human realm. Today in the digital world, we still think that most of the communication is happening between human to human. Well, it is not entirely correct. Still to reach a common ground, you can say that the whole of digital communication is happening between machines; whether they are operated by humans or not is another thing.
So, if all the humans in the physical world need an identity for any official transaction, the same rule applies to the digital world too. Machines need identities too to be recognized and thereby to be allowed to communicate seamlessly in the digital network.
How a Secure Digital Communication happens?
Every device that needs to communicate with other devices over internet through secured path has to possess a public key and private key. This is called asynchronous communication which is most commonly used. The host sends the public key to other devices which they use to encrypt the data. When this encrypted data reaches the host, the host uses the private key to decrypt the data and thus the communication completes.
Now the catch is, what if an attacker hacks the communication path and pretends to be the host by providing their own public key? They can fetch the user’s details through their own encryption/decryption method. This would be a huge compromise on security front.
Hence, to prevent such a scenario, a Certificate Authority comes to rescue. This is an independent body that issues a valid digital certificate to every public key. It is only after that the public key can be authenticated and considered valid.
Now, let’s look briefly upon the various operations involved with these certificates.
A bit on Certificate Lifecycle Management
Modern companies have a large set of devices connected to their network. Each of these devices need identification through digital certificate to authenticate themselves for seamless communication. The usual operations involved with these certificates are issuance, revocation, destruction and renewals which are performed based on various parameters.
If it were just handful of devices, it would have been easier to manage these certificate operations manually. But with hundreds of devices connected to the private and public network of an organization, handling all these operations manually is not possible. This is where an automated Certificate Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution is needed.
AppViewX’s Certificate Lifecycle Management(CLM)
AppViewX provides an end-to-end solution for managing the digital certificates over private and public networks. It goes through the following stages:
- Discover: In this step, the software discovers the entire infrastructure to identity where each certificate is installed and whether they are implemented correctly or not.
- Generate: This step involves purchasing the certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority. They can be either external or you can setup your own internal CA as well.
- Analyze: Variety of types and attributes of certificates need to be analyzed and assigned to different locations. These can be a device, server, application or even a website. Proper configuration has to be made to suit the destination of digital certificates.
- Monitor: Each certificate in the network must be monitored for the seamless communication within network. Which certificates need to be renewed, revoked or destroyed must be managed from a centralized inventory.
- Revoke: When a private key has been compromised or when a CA has issued a certificate with wrong attributes or for any other reason, there arises a need to revoke a certificate.
While there are more complex operations involved, this is to only give you a glimpse of it.
AppViewX CLM as a Service
AppViewX CLM has been offered as an on-premise solution for most of our clients but now as an enhancement we are going live with CLM as a Service solution. Through this, you would no longer be required to install the entire software locally but can access its full range of services online. All you need is a mid-server or cloud connector that can be installed on your network environment and that’s it. The whole cloud-based CLM solution can be managed online from anywhere going forward.
With this agnostic consumption model, AppViewX wishes to offer a cost-efficient CLM solution that eliminates manual processes and considerably reduces margin for errors.
To know more about this, Talk to our experts.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blogs – AppViewX authored by Shoeb Ahmed. Read the original post at: https://www.appviewx.com/blogs/certificate-lifecycle-management-clm-as-a-service-a-brief-summary/