A young adult holds a smartphone with applications and datapoints such as the cloud, Wi-Fi, and internet browsers emerging from it.

Your Network Has Been Compromised. Now What?

Using PKI to Encrypt Everything

Not too long ago, enterprise network security focused on defining and protecting the boundary between internal, private networks and externally facing resources.

Now — given the complexity of the enterprise environment and the mountains of data that organizations source from cloud providers, vendors and IoT platforms — the perimeter of a network is near impossible to define, let alone defend.

Small wonder that Zero Trust frameworks, which encourage organizations to authenticate everything and assume all users and devices are untrustworthy, have gained ground with everyone from corporate security experts to White House officials.

Zero Trust encompasses a set of concepts and practices that range from risk-based access policies to multi-factor authentication (MFA). Increasingly, end-to-end data encryption is seen as a critical extension of the philosophy. Even if information is stolen, it can’t be read or used. Encrypting everything also streamlines both security and compliance workflows, eliminating complicated and confusing schemes that enforce different levels of protection on different parts of the network.

A Simple, Scalable Way to Secure Enterprise Data

Unfortunately, very few organizations encrypt all data, and many encrypt almost none. That’s because of the misguided assumption that encrypting everything will be too complex, too expensive or both.

In truth, Public Key Infrastructure, or PKI — the backbone of both Internet and enterprise network security — offers a simple, scalable and efficient way to accomplish the goal. PKI is already deployed in most enterprise IT infrastructures, and support for PKI certificates is built into everything from email clients and servers to web servers and operating systems.

PKI works by establishing a comprehensive set of roles, policies and procedures that govern centrally-issued digital certificates containing cryptographic keys. These certificates are then inserted into individual devices and applications, where they work to encrypt data and authenticate connected devices and applications.

If you deploy PKI everywhere on a corporate network, it will automatically encrypt everything that’s written to or retrieved from a server or device. It will also detect tampering and authenticate the source of information.

Is deploying PKI encryption expensive? Not when you compare it to the average cost of a data breach, which was $1.25 million less at organizations that used high standard encryption (at least 256 AES) to encrypt data at rest and in motion.

Is it complicated? Not with newer PKI-as-a-Service (PKIaaS) solutions, which are hosted in the cloud, managed by external vendors and delivered through a SaaS portal — enabling organizations to outsource the complexities of PKI while retaining visibility and control.

Learn more about the power of PKI encryption in our eBook, Encrypt Everything With Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) >>

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.).