Public key infrastructure (PKI) is mainly concerned with managing secure digital identities that safeguard data, enable authentication, and share information over untrusted networks. Most businesses and companies depend heavily on PKI today.
What is Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)?
PKI combines various technologies to establish user and device authentication within a digital ecosystem.
PKIs are primarily intended for confidentiality and authentication. This implies that they permit highly secure communications over any platform while maintaining the ability to authenticate individual identities.
As an alternative to conventional encryption—or symmetric encryption as it is known, which uses the same key for both encodings and decrypting, PKI uses a key pair – a public and a private key – in a process called public-key encryption. The first key encrypts data, while the second decrypts it.
Although both keys are distinct, they are mathematically related. A public key is publicly available, while the private key is confidential. Consequently, the information encrypted with one key can only be decrypted by its key.
Cloud adoption is soaring across multiple industries due to the adoption of various cloud computing models (public, private, and hybrid). It’s estimated that by 2025 there will be more than 200 zettabytes of data stored in the cloud.
However, security concerns remain among customers, and they ask, “How will I trust the cloud?”
Building customer trust in a cloud is possible if PKI is implemented and planned correctly. It’s straightforward to answer this question by “building trust around the cloud.” However, how do we do that? Here are the top reasons businesses use cloud-based PKI.
An Effective Security System
There are many things to think about when it comes to moving your PKI to the cloud. All are vital, but security is at the top of the priority list for obvious reasons. PKI-dependent applications may experience considerable interruption and downtime if the root key or private keys are compromised.
The facility hosting crucial PKI functions must be secure, in addition to the specific instruments used to safeguard keys. PKIaaS companies can devote significantly more resources to state-of-the-art cloud PKI infrastructure, security, and knowledge than most organizations can because it is their primary business.
Simplification and Reduction of Costs
Moving your PKI to the cloud can relieve you of many security controls, maintenance responsibilities, and infrastructure expenditures. The financial investment and skills required to successfully administer a robust internally run PKI are significant, causing many enterprises to delegate crucial PKI operations.
Adopting the proper PKIaaS platform may save you time and money, allowing your highly qualified IT and security teams to focus on other things.
At the same time, your PKI gets the attention it deserves to defend your business. Infrastructure teams may concentrate on their primary initiatives rather than managing and maintaining PKI.
Costs become significantly more manageable because PKI’s numerous hidden and conventional expenditures are replaced with a single, predictable price.
Automation in the Life Cycle
PKI oversights are pretty much synonymous with certificate-related concerns. Beyond the basics of PKI, every digital certificate produced by your internal private and public CA must be handled carefully during your lifetime.
Scores or hundreds of thousands of certificates are in use across your business today, and manual scripts and spreadsheets can’t keep up.
One expired certificate might cause a catastrophic network or application disruption if it falls between the gaps.
By choosing the right PKIaaS provider, you’ll access the tools to manage and automate the key management and certification process for your private PKI hosted in the cloud and any third-party CAs.
The strain on your PKI team and certificate end-users is reduced, and the danger of certificate-related outages or breaches due to human mistakes or oversight is significantly reduced.
Reliability and Scalability
As your company expands, you’ll need a PKI to serve mission-critical applications around the clock and scale up to millions of users and devices. On the other hand, Legacy PKI systems are not meant for more than one or two applications and lack the necessary redundancy and scalability.
Although Microsoft CA installation is straightforward, it will not expand to meet your future needs. Each additional use case will increase the complexity of your PKI solution, which was once “free.”
Reputable cloud PKIaaS providers, on the other hand, have the necessary in-depth experience and understanding of industry standards to assist you in doing it right the first time – developing a PKI that is tailored to your present and future business needs.
Stability of Business
People and procedures drive PKI’s success, but in today’s corporate culture, workers might transfer at any time, leaving PKI in unfamiliar hands. It’s not easy to find and keep IT and security employees competent in handling PKI, including several other tasks.
As inexperienced hands fall on mission-critical infrastructure, shifts in PKI ownership invariably raise the danger of security holes.
Regular maintenance procedures like signing and publishing certificate revocation lists (CRLs) and updating CAs can cause significant disruptions that can take days or even weeks to fix.
By deploying your PKI in the cloud, you can ensure that your infrastructure remains operational despite your IT and security staff changes.
In addition to reducing the expensive costs associated with PKI deployment, cloud-based PKI services reduce overhead and training costs. With cloud-based PKI, access to critical business transactions is secure and affordable, which means organizations no longer have to choose between expensive security and a costly breach.