As your business information infrastructures scale and become more complex, it becomes crucial for IT and system administrators to keep their systems running 24/7/365. Digital certificates are an integral part of an organization’s information ecosystem.
No doubt, it is possible to create spreadsheets, set Outlook calendar reminders, or use tools provided as part of your CA solution to manage these certificates. But these options have several weak points that can prove disastrous. Besides, the range of tasks associated with certificate management is greater than it looks at first sight.
Manual certificate management steals time and weakens you
As the company gradually grows, so does the volume of digital certificates. Even if your number is running in dozens or hundreds, managing them via manual tools requires a lot of concentration, attention and time to ensure that errors are not introduced. But even this won’t fully protect you from a human mistake.
All manual processes, be it spreadsheets, calendar reminders or simply your head, are error-prone and susceptible to quite a list of weaknesses:
- Information does not get updated automatically in the event of data or company certificate policy changes
- You will not be alerted ahead of time when a certificate requires any actions
- Manual tools do not double-check the accuracy of entered data
A mistake or simple typo can prove costly. For example, you can miss a certificate or its renewal deadline which may result in expiration, system breakdown, or even lead to a security breach.
In cases where the certificate won’t work properly, your company loses site traffic and sales, and the operation of the entire organization can grind to a halt. Additionally, it undermines reputation and customer trust which takes a long time to restore.
Automation is a global phenomenon. By removing the human factor you will find that your network operating with fewer errors. In a non-automated network, average number of errors per month is 5 to 6. And that may cost a lot.
For these reasons, it is prudent for a company to consider aggregating its automated certificate management into one centralized system, so that nothing goes under the radar.
The power of a certificate lifecycle management tool
Given the risks associated with manual certificate management, it’s critical to find a solution that does not rely on manual processes. When it comes to making infrastructure more secure and reliable, the attributes of a CLM solution speak for themselves:
- Deep discovery of all known and unknown SSL\TLS certificates both in internal and external networks regardless of the CA
- Complete visibility in a single environment by bringing and organizing all certificates in one central system
- Aggregated data overview of your whole system health as well as important vulnerability checkpoints
- Constant network monitoring and reporting to make meeting deadlines an easy part of the process
- Automation potential for executing tasks through configurable automation options
- Time and cost-efficiency of automation due to the avoidance of manual work; storage and management in a single solution lowers costs.
The era of manual spreadsheets is coming to an end with new automated options emerging. In fact, automation and agile processes are the top factors to fuel business growth according to SaaS statistics. You just need to select tools that better suit your needs.
This is true not only for enterprises that use a bunch of certificates issued by different Certificate Authorities, but for businesses of all sizes and kinds. This solution is also worth considering for small and medium-sized businesses keen to protect their web resources and cut risks.