Top 4 Reasons to Switch to Managed PKI
Take the Stress — and the Spreadsheets — Out of PKI
PKI, or public key infrastructure, has been around for decades. Yet it’s never been more relevant, especially given how many users, devices, services and systems need to connect to enterprise networks — securely.
However, there’s a sense in which PKI is a victim of its own success. The average organization manages more than 52,000 certificates. It’s a big job, not least because most IT teams aren’t equipped to do it properly. Instead, they struggle to make do with insufficient resources, homegrown systems and uncertain organizational ownership.
The good news? Managing PKI doesn’t have to be a struggle. In this article, we’ll explain how cloud-based PKI-as-a-Service (PKIaaS) helps address the challenges — and takes advantage of the technology’s full potential.
Top 4 Reasons to Turn to Managed PKI
HID recently wrapped up a series for Infosecurity Magazine in which we explored why outsourcing PKI is such a compelling value proposition. Here are the top four reasons:
1. It’s Less Expensive
Because in-house PKI systems are managed by existing IT staff, it’s easy to imagine that they aren’t as expensive as their cloud-based counterparts. However, there are a number of hidden costs associated with in-house PKI.
At the most basic level, time spent on PKI management is time that can’t be spent on other critical security issues. Less obvious is the fact that PKI has become an incredibly specialized niche. Finding staffers with the right skills can be difficult, and it’s even harder to ensure they can keep up with the ever-growing number of PKI use cases. Typical in-house management systems are just as hard to scale — especially considering the rate at which today’s organizations generate and consume certificates.
Cloud PKI, by contrast, automates certificate management, enabling IT teams to outsource the complexity while retaining control of private root keys. Costs are predictable and upfront, requiring no additional investments in software or hardware.
2. It’s Easy to Customize
PKI offers powerful identity management capabilities that can be customized to suit a wide range of scenarios. Growing interest in PKIaaS has led to a vibrant landscape, with providers whose automation strategies cater to different needs. Three common models for certificate automation have emerged, known as agent-based, agentless and connector:
3. It Offers Powerful Encryption Capabilities
Network security starts with robust identity and access management systems that authenticate users and devices and prevent unauthorized access — an area where PKI excels.
Yet in a landscape where credentials are dishearteningly easy to steal, end-to-end data encryption has emerged as an equally critical component of the Zero Trust frameworks that are gaining ground with everyone from corporate security experts to White House officials.
Fortunately, PKI offers a simple and efficient way to encrypt information, thanks to the asymmetric cryptography at its core. The technology’s widespread adoption makes these solutions easy to scale — in fact, most enterprise systems and devices can use digital certificates without any modifications.
4. It’s Easy to Deploy and Scale
Public key infrastructure (PKI) is a mature technology, and most organizations have a good sense of its capabilities. Yet there’s a common misconception that it’s difficult to migrate from in-house to managed PKI — and scale to fit new use cases — without disrupting the enterprise IT environment.
In reality, organizations can migrate from on-premise PKI in a matter of days, because PKIaaS natively integrates with Microsoft tools such as autoenrollment and AD CS. Cloud-based administrative consoles integrate the management of private and public certificate services, while reducing the risk of certificate-related outages.
The stakes for network security have never been higher. Fortunately, it’s also never been easier to deploy comprehensive protection with PKIaaS — without the hidden costs or hassle.
Ready to find freedom with PKIaaS? HID’s solutions streamline security — here’s how >>
Mrugesh Chandarana is Product Management Director for Identity and Access Management Solutions at HID Global, where he focuses on IoT and PKI solutions. He has more than ten years of cybersecurity industry experience in areas such as risk management, threat and vulnerability management, application security and PKI. He has held product management positions at RiskSense, WhiteHat Security (acquired by NTT Security), and RiskVision (acquired by Resolver, Inc.).