Certificate Management 09-07-2013

The Crippling Cost of Expired SSL Certificates


Can you remember how many SSL Certificates you have, who you bought them from, or when each of them expires? Depending on the size of your business, just keeping track of your certificates can be a full-time job.

An unwanted or unexpected certificate expiration can be costly and puts your sensitive and most important information at risk. But more importantly, your reputation suffers. Expired certificates can do irreparable damage to the confidence of those who visit and depend on your site.

SSL Certificate Expiration Problems Happens to Everyone

Even the most experienced administrators with some of the biggest names in business can make mistakes. Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners as well as defense, space, and security systems. But that didn’t stop an entire manufacturing floor from shutting down because someone allowed a certificate to expire, costing Boeing millions of dollars.

More recently Microsoft's Azure cloud platform faced a worldwide outage in its storage services because of an administrator neglected to renew an expiring SSL Certificate.

Microsoft has spent more than $15 billion building one of the largest global cloud computing infrastructures. Further demonstrating that this could happen to anyone. The impact can be as far reaching as it is expensive.

Making Managing SSL Expirations Easy

Thankfully there are tools available to help you stay on top of things and avoid costly mistakes. These tools let you scan an internal network or a range of public IP addresses to see details about every certificate in use, including their expiration dates and the issuing Certificate Authority.

With the DigiCert SSL Discovery Tool, you can perform manual and automatic scans. Manual scanning lets you search your network by a list of hosts or IP ranges or by a Host Group. Auto scanning allows you to schedule periodic scans at specified intervals (daily, weekly, or monthly) in order to detect and be notified of changes to your active certificate inventory. It’s like a built-in safety net with an alarm system to go off before disaster strikes. Something no one, no matter how big or small, can afford to be without.

SSL Certificate Lifecycle Management in the Cloud

DigiCert has also released Certificate Inspector, a free cloud-based certificate management platform that allows administrators to easily manage all SSL Certificates installed on their servers, regardless of the provider of the certificate.

Certificate Inspector’s algorithm quickly identifies certificates installed across the web and assigns grades on their security and their implementations, providing an easy way to renew SSL Certificates, prevent unwanted SSL errors, and track server security issues that need to be resolved.

Because SSL is critical to online security and the backbone of Internet safety, staying on top of SSL Certificate management is a top priority to server and network administrators, but it doesn't have to be a time consuming function in their day-to-day challenges.


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