Organisations' infrastructures are increasingly becoming more complex. The distributed workforce and the explosion of connected devices - including mobile devices and IoT - are only a few cases that steer the demand for a strong digital identity approach.
Organisations rely on digital identification as a cornerstone of Zero Trust security, enabling a passwordless architecture for users, devices, servers, and applications. There is no stronger authentication solution than the digital identity provided by PKI (Public Key Infrastructure). PKI has proven effective, flexible, reliable, and scalable in securing a wide range of authentication methods.
PKI is an acronym for Public Key Infrastructure and governs the issuance of digital certificates. It manages the public keys used by the network for public-key encryption, identity management, certificate distribution, certificate revocation, and certificate management.
Digital certificates offer the highest security and protect critical corporate data, providing unique digital identities for users and devices. A digital certificate is comparable to a passport or an identity card as they too are a type of identification that proves your identity and provides a certain allowance. Moreover, they are also hard to forge.
PKI relies on digital signature technology, which uses public-key cryptography by generating a private and public key. The users and devices that have keys are called entities. The principle of PKI is that that entity only knows the private key of each entity. In contrast, the public key can be made available to anyone.
Another crucial element of the PKI is the certificate authority (CA). The CA is the trusted party issuing the digital certificates. Users and devices generate their public key, which the CA then signs to bind the user's name to their public key securely. The CA thus acts as an agent of trust in a PKI.
The expiration date ensures the end date of the validity of the certificate.
The integrity of a certificate is determined by verifying the digital signature of the CA. Since the digital signature of the CA is verified, certificates are inherently secure, allowing certificates to be distributed in a public manner.
At the same time, users retrieving a public key from a certificate are assured that the public key is valid and is still within its defined validity period. Equally important, users can trust the certificate and be assured the associated public key belongs to the entity specified by the distinguished name, and the public key can be used safely for which it was initially certified by the CA.
Assigning certificates to connected IoT devices guarantee only authorised devices can access a company network.
Providing the key to connecting devices give control that only trusted users can access a company network.
Installing private, trusted TLS/SSL certificates on internal and external-facing webservers strengthens network integrity.
There is no stronger authentication than the digital identity provided by PKI to control and secure access to companies' networks. PKI certificates safeguard critical data from unauthorised parties and against vulnerabilities that put businesses at risk. Without a PKI, data is susceptible to hackers and theft.
Now is the time to rethink the certificate lifecycle management approach and adopt an automated solution, ensuring certificates are correctly configured and deployed with minimalised human intervention.
NetAttest EPS offers interoperability, high up-time, stability, governance and improves administration and certificate lifecycle management through:
Digitalisation across various industries boosts the need for digital authentication to secure and control the organisation's networks. PKI is a strategic part of network security; some of the use cases include:
PKI supports IT in remote deployment and managing digital certificates, automatically tracking certificate lifecycle and automated provisioning of certificates to onboard new users. For certificate deployment, NetAttest EPS supports compatibility with Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms.