What is Certificate Lifecycle Management?
Certificate Lifecycle Management refers to the activities required to ensure digital trust for your organization. Certificate lifecycle management best practices for digital certificates include consistent use of tools that provide certificate discovery, access controls to the certificate manager, reporting, and certificate lifecycle automation.
Digital certificates, or x.509 certificates, are the backbone of digital security. They are the main way that websites are secured, and identities are authenticated to access networks and devices.
As the world becomes more digitally based, the number of digital certificates needed to secure websites, servers, networks, IoT devices and more, continues to grow. Sometimes outpacing an organization’s resources to manage them. That’s why it’s so important for organizations to implement TLS Best Practices by properly managing their certificates to ensure they do not become the next victim to a costly outage or breach due to an untracked or expired certificate.
How do I Manage a TLS Certificate?
TLS/SSL Certificate Lifecycle Management refers to the process of managing digital TLS/SSL certificates within a cloud-based console like DigiCert® CertCentral. Within CertCentral, users can issue and provision TLS/SSL certificates for their websites and servers, as well as revoke, renew and reissue certificates. CertCentral also provides a discovery tool so organizations can locate and track their entire inventory of certificates issued for their domains and get a full picture of where certificates are issued, who issued them, how they’re being used and when they expire.
The first step to managing a public TLS/SSL Certificate is by ordering one from a Certificate Authority like DigiCert. Once ordered you must go through the validation process handled by a trusted CA like DigiCert, before it can be issued to your organization. Then you need to properly install the certificate on your domain or web server. Next you must track the certificate expiration date to ensure that it does not expire before you reissue or renew it. The maximum certificate lifetime is currently set at approximately 13 months, or 398 days. That means after that timeframe your certificate will expire and if not renewed and reissued, could cause a lapse in your website security, potentially impacting your business revenue and transactions.