SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates, also known as TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificates, are digital documents that verify the authenticity of a website and enable secure data transmission over the Internet. These certificates are critical in establishing encrypted connections between web servers and browsers.
SSL/TLS certificates are sensitive and require continuous monitoring and management. For instance, they have a short expiry period (ranging from 3 months to 3 years), can develop technical glitches, and may sometimes get compromised by hackers.
At the very least, a failed or compromised certificate can lead to outages, downtimes, security breaches, negative brand reputation, increased costs, etc.
In this article, we evaluate the intricacies of SSL certificate lifecycle management and discuss how a certificate lifecycle management system can maintain a secure and efficient online environment.
What is Certificate Lifecycle Management?
SSL certificate management is the process of monitoring, facilitating, and executing every certificate process necessary for seamless operations in network environments.
It involves purchasing, deploying, renewing, and replacing digital certificates on their respective endpoints (servers, applications, devices, and other network components.)
A well-defined certificate management strategy is invaluable to your business in the long run. It enhances visibility and control over your infrastructure, preventing costly downtime and outages due to misconfigured, faulty, or expired certificates.
The Case for Certificate Lifecycle Management System
Increasing Internet Devices
We are in the era of digital transformation. Almost every business process leverages digital systems to enhance operations.
Consequently, there is an overwhelming increase in the number of devices connected to the Internet, ranging from IoT (Internet of Things) to cloud applications. With each device that is connected to the Internet, there is a need for at least one digital certificate to ensure that the appliance operates securely.
Tons of Certificates with Different Variables
This means that your network administrator managing certificate lifecycles has hundreds, if not thousands, of digital certificates to work.
Moreover, each of these certificates is associated with several variables, which include:
- Different expiration dates
- Unique vulnerabilities that need to be monitored and addressed individually
- Issued by different certificate authorities (CA’s)
Additionally, these certificates require continuous monitoring to ensure they are effective.
Ineffective Manual Processes
Handling all these processes on manual systems is tedious and ineffective, hence the need for a specialized certificate management tool.
How a Certificate Lifecycle Manager (CLM) Can Help
A sound certificate lifecycle management system seamlessly handles all the processes associated with a certificate lifecycle. It monitors the entire certificate lifecycle in real-time and automates certificate processes – including certificate issuance, discovery, inventory, provisioning, securing, monitoring, renewal, and revocation.
The primary benefit of a certificate lifecycle is that it replaces manual certificate management methods like tracking on spreadsheets, thus preventing unplanned system downtimes and vulnerabilities that come from errors or certificate expirations.
Besides real-time visibility and automation, a lifecycle certificate management solution helps you to meet compliance requirements and boosts the overall efficiency of your environments.
Choose a World-Class CLM Platform
Sectigo Certificate Manager is a global platform uniquely built for managing the life cycles of digital certificates that secure every identity across your organization from a single interface.
Sectigo Certificate Manager provides a reliable, consistent, automated process for the entire lifecycle of your digital certificates.
Streamline your CLM processes and avoid unwarranted disruptions while boosting efficiency by partnering with a certificate manager platform today.