It’s unlikely that any machine owner dreams of spending much, if any, of their work hours provisioning certificates. It tends to be time consuming and, depending on the validity period, something done so sporadically that you may not have a reliable internal blueprint for how the process should unfold. Perhaps you spend a good deal of time simply researching the process before undertaking all the necessary steps, only to promptly push it all out of your mind once everything is said and done so you can focus on the more exciting parts of your job, feeding into a potentially vicious cycle.
Whether or not you relate to the above frustrations, manual processes are linked to a greater risk of errors—especially for critical security functions like machine identities. In general, according to a 2020 study by the World Economic Forum, human error accounts for 95% of cybersecurity breaches. Manual processes are also costly. Let’s say your organization has 10,000 certificates and team members are renewing each of them once a year. If you cut down on four of the five hours in the lifecycle of each one of those certificates, you can save upwards of 40,000 staff hours. Multiply that by a conservative hourly rate of $75 for a fully burdened IT professional, and you’re talking real money—$3M, to be exact.
Lastly, manual processes are error prone. If I’m manually provisioning a renewed certificate across five web servers, and don’t realize I also need to renew it on a sixth, the certificate on that sixth server will eventually expire and potentially cause an outage that affects customer-facing applications, company revenue and reputation. Especially in complex modern environments, these types of certificates are often harder to identify and take longer to resolve, as everything is still working right 83% of the time.
The best way to address the risks presented by manually managing certificate lifecycles is to automate the entire process, from requesting a certificate and getting it from a Certificate Authority, to installing it and monitoring it over time. Venafi TLS Protect Cloud can help with this automation, saving time, sidestepping the potential of human error, and eliminating costly outages.
- The first option takes an application-centric approach. If you’re using familiar orchestration tools like Ansible, Kubernetes, or Terraform to deploy and manage services, containers and applications, you can also use these solutions to provision certificates being issued by TLS Protect Cloud. Click on your application of choice to view directions for setting up automated provisioning and even a code-snippet that can be easily copied and pasted to enable fast integration.
- Alternatively, you can provision from TLS Protect Cloud directly. Provisioning from TLS Protect Cloud lets you install, or “push,” certificates and private keys to applications, an easy and convenient way to install new certificates or renew and replace existing certificates on managed applications. You can provision certificates this way to F5 BIG-IP LTM, Microsoft IIS ( CAPI) and common keystores. But that’s just the start. Stay tuned—there will be more to come, thanks to the extensibility provided by our connector framework.
If you’re already using TLS Protect Cloud, request a new certificate and try it out. Otherwise, sign up for a free 30-trial to see how easy it is to get started today.
Watch the video below to learn more.