The adoption of hybrid working schemes have created security risks for organizations. Cybercriminals have leveraged weak digital identities to gain unlawful access to corporate networks and data. According to the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, credentials were the top attack vector for 61% of reported data breaches.
The challenges of identity-based zero trust security
Identity—whether human identities or machine identities—has become the new security perimeter and the new foundation of an identity-based Zero Trust approach to security. The concept is simple: every online entity—whether it is a device, human, software, API, container or a machine—needs to have a digital identity.
With identities becoming the center of security strategies, their number has increased dramatically over the past few years. In fact, the number of machine identities has overcome the number of human identities by a factor of 45:1, according to a recent CyberArk study. These identities create trustful relationships, and allow humans and machines to securely connect to other entities. However, here is the tricky point, these digital identities need to be properly managed and secured, so that they aren’t compromised. It only takes a single compromised identity for an attacker to wreak havoc.
More security products is not the answer, automated certificate management is
The challenge for enterprises is to manage the growing number of human and machine identities. Buying more security products to address the emerging management is not the solution as it creates friction, unnecessary complexity, and siloed procedures. What enterprises need a single solution that can help them orchestrate and automate certificate management across their IT environment—on premises and in the cloud.
With more identities in an ecosystem, more certificates are needed to verify them to build the trust required to safeguard business operations. The problem is that managing these certificates is a hard job to do. Certificates expire and require renewal.
Organizations are still employing manual processes to manage the growing number of certificates, making human error a very possible cause for outages. If a certificate inventory isn’t managed right, it becomes highly vulnerable to outages and security breaches.
If certificate management is efficiently orchestrated and automated, security teams can effortlessly monitor expiration dates, notify IT professionals when certificate expiration is imminent, and replace them without any manual labor from already overstretched IT teams.
The benefits of identity orchestration and automation
Machine identity orchestration and automation is what enables digital, cloud-first organizations to provide consistent identity and access across their entire ecosystem. Through identity orchestration, enterprises can enforce centralized access policies for distributed human and machine identities.
Deploying a comprehensive security strategy across all your identities, on-premises and in the cloud, can drive business outcomes through crypto-agility. Organizations can scale their digital transformation initiatives, meeting security and privacy requirements in an automated manner. In addition, they can reduce time and effort required for maintaining an in-house PKI, focusing instead on securing digital strategies through the effective management of all machine identities. Finally, organizations can replace error prone and resource intensive manual processes with end-to-end certificate lifecycle automation to reduce outages and business disruptions. This will help them reduce risk and control operational costs.
Cloud-based, automated, and orchestrated certificate lifecycle management benefit organizations by offering complete visibility over any certificate in their environment. Full visibility into all digital certificates means that even the largest enterprises can have a centralized view of digital identities and security processes. Comprehensive certificate visibility helps organizations to identify risks early enough to prevent outages and data breaches.
Furthermore, machine identity orchestration will allow organizations to provision unique trusted identities for all connected machines to enable new use cases. In this sense, machine identities are becoming an enabler of secure business success. Even in the most complex enterprise environments, certificate automation offers speed, flexibility, and scale.