Over the past few years, digital identities played a significant role in cyber security. With the surge in the number of remote workers, important organizations have felt the need to focus on cyber security with the help of authenticated digital identities. It gives them access to corporate networks. It is now seen that the portals requiring only the password and username to gain access to any device are increasing.  

The main challenge that modern IT leaders face today is managing the certificates across the IT environments. Instead, it is becoming intertwined, complex, and distributed. In this digitized world, PKI-based digital certificates have become the best way to authenticate digital identities. It yields the most powerful cyber security protection and is among the most accessible authentication processes. Moreover, PKI also offers a unique encryption solution for corporate networks.  

Are you looking for a way to secure your employees’ mail? Are you an IoT or a software manufacturer searching for centralized PKI management for the corporation or company? Then, you have arrived at the right place because this post will throw a light on ways to automate PKI the right way. 

Identify the Inventory of Certificates 

The first and foremost step to automating the PKI solution is to create the inventory of the current certificate landscape of your organization. According to a few surveys, the average corporate organizations manage more than 50,000 private and public PKI certificates, and the more prominent firms may have exceeded this number. In addition to this, most firms have employed more than three departments for certificate management, making it challenging to gain proper visibility.  

So, you must start by identifying your certificate inventory to the fullest and take into consideration each area that may include certificates like: 

  • Users 
  • Digital signatures 
  • Device identity and management 
  • Web servers 
  • Email 
  • Code signing 

Remediate the Certificate 

After that, fix any keys or certificates that don’t comply with company rules. Nearly half of the companies claimed they routinely find rogue certificates or certificates installed without the permission of the IT. To avoid costly outages, security risks, and downtime, ensure that all certificates are compliant. 

PKI executives who excel in PKI management are more concerned about rogue certificates, have fewer compliance concerns, delays, lower productivity, and lost money. These PKI executives likewise believe that PKI automation is critical to the organization’s future success and are taking the required measures to begin automating. 

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Protect Your Certificates 

You should use best practices to secure your certificate inventory after building a certificate inventory and remediating any noncompliant keys and certificates. This involves establishing a consistent, automated enrolment, issuance, and renewal procedure. Customers frequently use ITMS solutions to combine this with current change management procedures. 

  • Monitor the Certificate Automation Infrastructure 

Once the certificate automation system is up and running, you should watch it to ensure it stays in good shape. That way, if something unexpected happens, your staff will be able to react fast and effectively. 

REST API Integration 

This is another technique to automate the PKI setup. Connecting with third-party apps using HTTPS requests to obtain and transfer data is REST API integration. Businesses are coming across more practical uses for streaming the sources as several mobile apps, cloud applications, and IoT devices emerge on the digital platform. REST APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) based on HTTP serves as a digital attachment that allows client applications to be integrated. 

 In addition, APIs enable client and server connections, which solves connectivity issues. Consequently, facilitating organizations helps enterprises adopt the multi-channel corporate architecture to build a well-structured ecosystem. 

APIs enable business users to make data-driven choices by providing access to business KPIs. They make information more accessible by defining the program components’ interaction protocol. APIs are also used to fetch data by third-party integration platforms. They can be connected with other systems to handle business inquiries or aggregate dashboards. 

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Enrollment over Secure Transport (EST) 

There isn’t any proper encryption and authentication solution other than PKI’s digital identity. Professional IT teams can’t afford to distribute and manage the certificates manually since it is prone to error, consumes a lot of time, and is potentially dangerous. The certificate provisioning process can take several hours per certificate from issuance to configuration and then deployment. An organization may deploy the SSL certificate for the webserver and even manage many certificates all over the mobile devices, networked endpoints, and user identities. 

Furthermore, manually handling certificates exposes businesses to the danger of losing certificates until they expire, resulting in unexpected outages of vital business functions and vulnerability to malevolent attacks. 

Due to the numerous risks associated with manually handling PKI certificates, enterprises require a certificate management automation standard such as EST to ensure that certificates are appropriately configured and delivered at a scale without human interaction. EST’s degree of automation also helps decrease risk, allowing IT managers to reclaim time during hectic days. 

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So, these are how you can follow when it comes to automating a PKI. Remember that conducting a business efficiently and quickly is vital for its functioning. But, the Cybersecurity and safety of the company are equally important as well. Gratefully, an automated PKI with a Cybersecurity framework can enable you to run your business safely. Furthermore, automating your PKI infrastructure will help you request, issue, manage and terminate the digital certificates promptly and adequately, which is essential for running a business successfully in the current scenario.  


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