The world’s most popular security protocol, SSL/TLS, is a critical part of any organization’s digital strategy. However, since 1 September 2020, Apple started reducing SSL/TLS validity to just 398 days (one year, plus roughly one month to facilitate renewals). This decision was then followed by both Google and Mozilla. These web browser makers believed in the benefits of reduced SSL Certificate lifespan, yet this has created huge implications to the operations of many organizations.
The full list of benefits of reduced SSL Certificate lifespan has been enumerated and explained on the CA/Browser Forum’s Ballot SC22. Here are some detailed benefits of the reduced SSL certificate lifespan:
- Encourages organizations to revisit their IT Security Policies/Practices
Businesses are becoming the primary targets and are constantly on the radar of hackers. Revisiting IT Security Policies would help organizations with the following:
- Prevent Threats
- Protect from Hacking
- Reduce Downtime
- Protect the organization’s reputation and customer’s trust
- Reduces the risk of cyberattacks or the chance of a private key being compromised
- The longer the certificate validity, the longer the private key validity
- The longer the key validity, the more likely it is that a key will be compromised and potentially used by an attacker
Reduced SSL certificate lifespan reduces the risk of cyberattacks. Since an SSL certificate has a limited lifespan, cybercriminals cannot use stolen certificates indefinitely to compromise your website or email server.
However, the reduction of the SSL certificate lifespan means that organizations must renew their certificates every 12 months or they will have a risk of having downtime or unsecured websites. If the certificate expires before it is renewed, the secured website would not be able to be accessed anymore because it would show up as invalid in browsers and other applications that rely on the security features provided by HTTPS connections.
This change has a huge operational impact, especially on organizations with little visibility and control over their machines’ identities. Fortunately, there are steps organizations can take to better manage the shorter validity of SSL certificates as well as encourage better security practices.
- SSL certificates have an expiry date that needs to be monitored and the certificate renewed for continued security. The process of monitoring and renewal can be more complex in the absence of visibility. To address this disadvantage of SSL, reputed providers like Entrust offer state-of-the-art Certificate Management Systems (CMS) to manage SSL effortlessly and effectively with a cohesive dashboard, full visibility, and real-time insights.
- Full automation of the certificate management system. A good certificate lifecycle management system is capable of performing complete actions for an entire certificate infrastructure, automatically and in real-time, to prevent downtime and outages. Providers like Venafi, by far, have the best automated certificate management system.
Interested to know more about the Entrust CMS or Venafi for the automation of your certificate management lifecycle? Feel free to reach out to our Sales Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on our website.
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