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Top 5 Reasons Why PKI As A Service Is Essential for Encryption

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Top 5 Reasons Why PKI As A Service Is Essential for Encryption

Did you know public key infrastructure (PKI) as a service has become an indispensable component of a robust encryption strategy and security posture for modern organizations?

Companies can implement and scale enterprise-grade encryption smoothly and cost-effectively by outsourcing the complex management of digital certificates, keys, and life cycles to a trusted specialist provider.

Five compelling benefits make PKI essential for enabling pervasive encryption to protect the organization's sensitive data, communications, and digital identities. For these reasons, PKI as a service has emerged as an essential best practice for enabling comprehensive encryption. The article will dive into how PKI as a service alleviates encryption management burdens, risks, and costs to provide indispensable benefits for protection in today's digital business landscape.

What is PKI As A Service?

PKI as a service (PKIaaS) refers to outsourcing public key infrastructure management to a trusted third-party provider instead of building and maintaining an in-house PKI environment.

PKI is the underlying technology that enables public key encryption and digital certificates across an organization. It involves generating root and intermediate certificate authority (CA) certificates, securely managing the private keys, establishing policies and procedures, issuing certificates to users and devices, distributing keys, managing revocations, and handling renewals.

Maintaining all these complex components of PKI in-house requires specialized expertise and dedicated infrastructure that can be costly to build, scale, and manage. PKI as a service offloads this complexity to a provider.

With PKI as a service, the service provider configures, hosts, and fully manages private root CAs on behalf of the customer. The provider handles the generation of CA certificates, implements stringent physical and operational security controls, and carries out all administration of the PKI environment.

Reasons Why PKI As A Service Is Essential for Encryption

Radically Simplifies Certificate Lifecycle Management Across All Encryption Needs

Managing PKI and digital certificates in-house is extraordinarily complex, requiring specialized expertise and considerable resources. The IT team must handle the entire lifecycle, including requesting, issuing, distributing, renewing, revoking, and replacing keys and certificates. Custom trusted root CA certificates may need to be generated and managed internally.

Policies and procedures must be defined for each certificate type, usage case, and lifecycle stage. Granting certificate issuance privileges requires careful role management. Every certificate must be tracked and monitored for upcoming expirations, revocations, and potential vulnerabilities.

PKI as a service automates these convoluted processes through a simple user interface. Certificates can be provisioned on demand through policy-based automation. Built-in audit trails provide visibility into all certificate activity. Expiration alerts are sent well in advance to avoid any disruption. All policies, monitoring, redundancy, and more are handled behind the scenes.

This tremendously simplifies what has traditionally been a highly burdensome set of manual processes. Instead of dedicating extensive resources to PKI management, the organization can focus on core business goals. IT overhead is reduced by freeing staff from the intricacies of internal PKI operations.

Enhances Security Posture Through Provider Expertise and Best Practices

Leading enterprise PKI as a service provider adheres to a zero-trust approach grounded in defense-in-depth principles. Encryption keys are protected by FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified hardware security modules (HSMs) within physically secured data centers. Operational access follows strict separation of duties and least privilege access rules.

Stringent vetting and due diligence of personnel is enforced, including background checks. All administrators must use multi-factor authentication and log actions in tamper-proof audit trails. Anomaly detection and other advanced measures enhance monitoring. Disaster recovery systems provide resilience against threats.

Providers gain deep PKI expertise from managing billions of certificates across their customer base. They incorporate industry best practices into the service, staying on top of advances in cryptography, algorithms, certificate formats, vulnerabilities, and mitigations through dedicated research teams.

This combination of expertise and best practices enhances the organization's security posture beyond what typically can be achieved with in-house PKI systems. Partnering with a specialized provider is the fastest path to maturing the organization's PKI security capabilities.

Simplifies and Streamlines PKI Scalability as Encryption Needs Grow  

As an organization grows, its needs around certificates and encryption grow exponentially. More users, devices, applications, workloads, and environments mean a rising number of required digital certificates. Expanding to new geographic regions or mergers and acquisitions also escalates complexity. With in-house PKI, scaling up can be extremely expensive, disruptive, and risky.

As a service built on cloud infrastructure, PKI offers simple scalability to handle increasing business demands. The systems can automatically provision more certificates and keys as needed without expensive hardware upgrades. Cloud-based PKI sustainably scales to support business growth without compromising security or availability. This scalability supports organizations of any size with the flexibility to expand encryption securely.

Ensures High Availability of Encryption Services  

For encryption to deliver its full value, PKI services must be online and always available. Outages can completely break secure access, transactions, communications, and productivity. With availability, organizations can avoid risky workarounds to maintain business continuity.

Maintaining high availability with in-house PKI requires substantial investment in redundant infrastructure and staffing. Costly disaster recovery systems need to be tested regularly. The geographic distribution of PKI servers aims to minimize regional outages.

With PKI as a service, availability exceeding 99.99% is built-in, not a costly add-on. Cloud infrastructure provides inherent redundancy across geographic regions. Automated failover and recovery systems provide resilience against outages. Rigorous stress testing and audits validate availability.

This high availability from PKI as a service supports an always-on business, avoiding encryption service disruption. It is achieved as part of the standard offering, not via extra investment like on-premises PKI.

Lowers Total Cost of Ownership Through the Opex Model

The expertise, infrastructure, and staffing required for robust PKI capabilities necessitate major capital and ongoing investments. Servers, hardware security modules, backup systems, and technical personnel add up quickly for initial builds and maintenance.

PKI as a service dramatically lowers costs by eliminating the need for expensive hardware and dedicated infrastructure. The subscription-based pricing provides predictable operational expenditure without upfront capital costs. Scaling, maintenance, upgrades, and availability are handled behind the scenes as part of the service.

For most organizations, outsourcing PKI to a high-quality provider yields substantial cost savings compared to in-house solutions. The money saved can be redirected to other security and digital transformation initiatives. Tight budgets no longer prevent robust encryption.

Bottomline 

In summary, transitioning to PKI as a service has become the foremost best practice for implementing enterprise-wide encryption. Combining simplified certificate lifecycle management, strengthened security posture, flexible scalability, resilient availability, and reduced TCO makes PKI an indispensable service.

With pervasive encryption now essential for securing sensitive systems and data, relying on specialized providers enables implementing comprehensive protection more smoothly, rapidly, and cost-effectively. As encryption needs evolve, PKI as a service positions organizations to secure new initiatives without the overhead of elaborate in-house PKI operations. For these reasons, PKI as a service has become the cornerstone for data protection across many modern digitally-driven organizations.


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