Expert on Report: Mismanaged Key & Digital Certificates

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Feb 13, 2020 02:49 am PST

It was recently reported that the majority of organisations (73%) continue to experience unplanned downtime and outages due to mismanaged digital certificates. More than half of respondents (55%) have experienced more than 4 certificate-related outages in the past 24 months alone according to this research.

Two-thirds of respondents say their organization is adding additional layers of encryption to comply with industry regulations and IT policies; however, shorter certificate validity has doubled the management workload on short-staffed IT and security teams,” notes the study. An estimated average of 88,750 keys and certificates are used by organizations today to secure data and authenticate systems. However, 74 percent of respondents believe their organizations do not know exactly how many keys and certificates (including self-signed) they have, much less where to find them or when they expire. Furthermore, 76 percent of respondents say that failure to secure keys and certificates undermines the trust their organization relies upon to operate.

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Baan Alsinawi
Baan Alsinawi , Managing Director
February 13, 2020 10:59 am

Our assessments of various clients and government agencies confirm these findings. Add that NIST requires FIPS 140-2 encryption, and you add another layer of complexity and confusion to long term management of the various SSL keys, self signed certifictes, PKI if used.

Changing the keys upon expiration mostly takes people by surprise since they are not prepared and suddenly critical functions are not accessible. i will add also the risk of using same keys for the primary data source and the backups. it is advised to use one key for primary and separate key for the backups to protect from risk of ransomware and ability to recover if your primary data source was compromised. all security standards have specific controls that are designed to audit and test the key management aspects of organizations such as NIST Cybersecurity Framework, ISO etc. Managing the risk should be included in an overall risk management strategy integrated into COOP and Disaster recovery, incident response and several other key aspects of a comprehensive risk management strategy.\”

Last edited 3 years ago by Baan Alsinawi

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