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Certificate Lifecycle Management Best Practices
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Don’t make the same the mistakes Yahoo, Equifax, Home Depot, LinkedIn, and Ericsson did.
Yahoo, Equifax, Home Depot, LinkedIn, and Ericsson. Nearly every week, yet another well-known brand makes headlines for all the wrong reasons: hackers gain access to their customer data; a certificate error causes their website to go down; or investigators fine them for compliance violations. This checklist will help you implement certificate management best practices to avoid similar problems for your company.
Avoid the 4 Horsemen of the Certificate Apocalypse:
- Expensive Outages & Downtime
When certificates expire, websites break, applications go down, and business lurches to a halt. And not just your business — anyone relying on your organization will experience outages and downtime, too. For example, Ericsson had a certificate expiration in 2018 that cut cellular service for 32 million people for several hours.
- Angry Customers & Partners
In business, both on- or offline, trust is currency. Your customers and partners trust you to be open, easily identifiable, and to have services available. When that doesn’t happen, your brand and reputation can suffer long-lasting damage. More than a year after the Ericsson incident, their customers are still angry. In fact, one of the company’s partners reportedly received up to £100 million from Ericsson as compensation for the downtime.
- Regulatory Penalties & Non-Compliance Fines
Encryption and authentication are critical components of just about every compliance and regulatory framework. That means digital certificates are, too. A Ponemon Institute study found that certificate mismanagement costs the average enterprise just over $7.2 million per year due to failed audits and regulatory penalties.
- Critical Data Breaches
Certificate expiration is far more treacherous than just an HTTP browser warning. It can open the doors for far greater attacks. An expired digital certificate shielded the Equifax data breach from detection for 76 days because it knocked out the company’s traffic inspection capabilities. Two years later, the credit bureau is still reeling, with costs at $1.4 billion and still rising!