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In today’s context of a growing number of electronic devices including smart phones, tablets, and almost any other wireless enabled device, such as smart cars, smart TVs, and so on, it certainly is important to deploy different methods to secure them against the damage of malicious third-party agents. Such manner is quite imperative in order to make sure that the privacy and authenticity of the devices are not compromised in any way. This way, the utilization of digital certificates is already an effective way of securing the identity and authenticity of these items within a given network environment. However, it must be noted that there are various types of digital certificates that are available in the market today. It is, therefore, up to the end user to choose the appropriate one for his unique set of circumstances.
When it comes to managing digital certificates in the present times, there are many techniques that are adopted by the administrators to accomplish this goal. One such technique that is used extensively is the issuance of a single administrative authority responsible for all digital certificates. Usually, at least one IT administrator is assigned to each secured domain. Such technique is not only beneficial in terms of controlling access to the certificate authority but also in terms of reducing human error in the process.
Another important technique to manage digital certificates is the incorporation of centralized discovery and expiration processes. Typically, such process is incorporated using client-server technologies. With such technology, applications using internet protocols (TCP/IP) can request for a list of all known valid certificates, which are stored in a central database. Upon receipt of such request, the server then performs a scan of all the certificates stored within its database. Based on the results of such scan, the server then informs the client server of any discovered invalid certificates.
On the contrary, another technique used in managing digital certificates and securing your network is SSL Certificate lifecycle. The lifecycle of any SSL certificate typically varies according to various factors. startups of such factors is the type of technology implemented within the system. There are two types of SSL technologies namely the EV SSL and offline EV SSL. Based on this, the lifecycle of EV SSL varies from 60 days to three years while the lifecycle of offline EV SSL is fixed.
As part of lifecycle management, automated systems are developed in order to maintain accuracy in the process. Such automation system includes DNS database, email monitoring, server response management, and EV certificate expiration monitoring. Besides these features, a fully automated system would also come with human authentication features to further enhance security in the process. Apart from these features, in addition to these automated systems, an in-house or remote computer lab would be deployed for administering the system, as well as for validating the certificate expiry.
Various tools are available to manage EV certificates in addition to standardization of EV certificate management. A number of software vendors have made their own products specifically targeted for managing digital certificates. These software products are known as “web-based self-service certificate management applications” or “web-based virtual certificate management applications.” Various tools that are available in the market today, make it easier for security leaders to accomplish the tasks involved in managing certificates. Some tools are web-based spreadsheets and password managers while others are desktop software for managing the system remotely.
startups based spreadsheets are the easiest tool when it comes to managing digital certificates. All a client needs to do is provide the issuer with his private key and the private key’s corresponding public key. Once the client has typed in the information, the spread sheet application will automatically calculate the right number of days, hours, minutes, and expirations needed for the client’s certificate renewal.
Desktop software is also available to manage certificates and keep track of their expiries. The desktop software allows for easy accessibility all through the computer as it uses a familiar interface. Different versions of the software are available for different operating systems, browsers, platforms, and types of networks. Web spreadsheets and other software products are usually integrated with an automatic management system. The program allows expiries to be scheduled, ensuring that the certificates which have already expired will not cause problems with the issuer’s customers.