Certificates are electronic files that uniquely identify people and resources on the Internet. Keeping communications between a client and server operating, encrypted, and secure is critical, and requires monitoring, facilitating, and executing of digital certificates.
Protecting certificates from cyberattacks is facilitated through certificate management. There are different types of certificates, such as SSL/TLS and code-signing. Digital certificates enable secure, confidential communication between two entities. If there is no problem with a certificate, the system works well. However, certificates expire after a predefined duration, and policies are continually changing. This requires a continual need for renewal and sometimes suspension, revocation, or replacement of certificates.
Software developers use code signing certificates to digitally sign applications, drivers, executables and software programs in order for users to verify the code they receive is authentic and has not been altered or compromised by a third-party. This is important for protecting both parties against fraud, malware and theft. Stolen digital certificates can compromise an organization’s security and authentication systems.
The applications for digital certificates are many, such as signing applications and issuing software updates, and securely communicating and transacting with customers, employees and partners. However, if anything goes wrong in the certificate process, the potential fallout can be disastrous. Cyber criminals create fraudulent websites that appear to be legitimate entities. Malware can then be disguised as software originating from a legitimate organization, enabling the theft of valuable information or infection of software for nefarious purposes.
Certificate management verifies and automates many tasks, like issuing and renewing certificates, and provides real-time status of the infrastructure of the network. It helps manage the network and prevents interruptions and downtime, while monitoring the entire infrastructure. Certificate management discovers, analyzes, monitors, and manages all digital certificates deployed by the Certificate Authority, and is fundamental to a robust security posture.
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