Adopting Cloud-based PKI Model: 5 Challenges to Know

The drastic growth in the eCommerce industry has changed how e-businesses function and share information with business partners and customers. Organizations are now more concerned with avoiding network downtime, preventing breaches, and connecting with numerous partners and customers. These reasons have prompted businesses to re-evaluate their digital security strategy. 

Most eCommerce businesses are implementing a robust security architecture to respond to the changing business needs. Public key infrastructure (PKI) is one such dynamic technology that represents a set of hardware, software, policies, and procedures. It offers a scalable security solution by securing connections amongst people, devices, and applications.  

For these reasons, businesses are increasingly relying on PKI to guarantee success.   

However, unlike other robust security tools, PKI utilizes digital certificates to secure sensitive data, ensure end-to-end communications, and assign a unique digital identity to users, making it a complex architecture. Organizations often fail to identify common PKI deployment challenges, making implementing and managing their PKI system challenging. 

Here are five common challenges that organizations face when adopting a PKI model. 

Lack of Proper Planning 

Most organizations fail to build a PKI model in a structured manner, thus losing track of issued certificates and their expiry dates. This PKI mismanagement results from a lack of proper planning and often results in failed audits, key misuse, and increased expenses. 

A certified AWS partner can help you upturn your security parameters. Integrating your data in the cloud becomes smooth, once you have expert guidance. Interestingly, cloud-partner knows the nit-grits in the system to fortify encryption. It ensures that any malicious activity or threats are bounced by following maximum safety protocols like end-to-end encryptions. Also, some providers may assist yo with recovery, in case you lose your valuable information.  

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Hence, a well-structured and detailed plan is crucial when adopting the PKI model. It allows organizations to keep track of the entire process, mitigate risk-prone situations, and ensure a robust, successful PKI implementation.   

It can help organizations learn more about the PKI model and its aspects and structure a well-planned strategy based on their security needs. In addition, PKI training will keep you up-to-date with the latest security protocols that are crucial for an effective PKI implementation. 

Insufficient Skills and Resources Allocation 

Implementing and maintaining a robust PKI model is expensive and requires industry-relevant skills. Organizations often underestimate the cost, time, and effort necessary to adopt a cloud-based PKI model. In addition, most organizations lack specialized skills and a dedicated team to manage long-term PKI projects, resulting in system vulnerabilities and the inability to respond to any security incident proactively.  

Furthermore, companies adopt a cloud-based PKI model by comparing the most obvious costs, often overlooking the hidden and more expensive costs to run the PKI model. 

Ensuring Enterprise’s Root Certificate Authority (CA) Security 

Root CA provides a private key used to sign SSL certificates, which are the basis of website security. These digital certificates identify and establish a secure connection between devices and applications. Hence, the root CA is considered the most critical aspect of the PKI model. Furthermore, a root certificate from a trusted CA determines the trust and security in your PKI architecture.  

Most companies fail to conduct a proper audit to validate the security of their root CA. Furthermore, they assume that all their digital certificates are trusted and secure without learning the policies of the issuing and root CAs.  

Inability to Store Certificates and Keys Securely 

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Hackers are constantly on the prospect for vulnerable devices and software applications. They utilize various techniques to control the keys and use them to access sensitive data or information. This risk is more pronounced in organizations using older devices that lack a secure update mechanism.  

Various startups and small businesses keep their security keys in spreadsheets or store them on easily accessible mediums, such as flash and hard drives, making them easy to access or copy. In addition, organizations lack advanced hardware security modules (HSMs) to protect their sensitive keys and certificate. These modules are certified for FIPS compliance and are the most secure way to protect keys.  

However, most companies often neglect the importance of HSMs, as they underestimate the importance of an effective security solution or find HSMs to be expensive.   

Unable to Implement Certificate Automation 

In a rush to deploy a cloud-based PKI model, organizations fail to monitor the lifecycle of digital certificates. An expired certificate can confuse your end-users and negatively impact your site’s credibility, resulting in revenue loss and brand value. 

While NIST recommends automating certificate management, organizations still rely on ad hoc processes for creating and issuing certificates manually, which push up costs and trigger security incidents. Hence, organizations must implement certificate automation with a robust PKI application for the seamless management of digital certificates.   


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Many organizations fail to identify common PKI implementation challenges, making their entire PKI infrastructure vulnerable to malicious attacks. Hence, companies and professionals must leverage the proper planning and resources available for a successful PKI deployment. Moreover, outlaying challenges at the early stages of your PKI implementation process can prevent organizations from spending more on a vulnerable system that fails to secure the organization’s environment. Ensure you audit the business architecture that’ll help you adopt a powerful cloud-based PKI model. 

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