SOCRadar® Cyber Intelligence Inc. | How Expired Digital Certificates Can Be a Nightmare?


Sep 14, 2020
4 Mins Read

How Expired Digital Certificates Can Be a Nightmare?

The need to protect corporate data from increasing cyberattacks continues to be the top priority of every organization. One of the most important ways to increase your company’s cybersecurity is to use digital certificates. Digital certificates provide many benefits by allowing entities to share their public keys in an authentic way.

  • No matter the size of your business, digital certificates can provide the same quality of encryption with the help of platforms such as Managed PKI.
  • Digital certificates help ensure your message reaches its intended recipients.
  • Digital certificates help us understand that an email or a website could be fake.
  • Investing in cybersecurity lets your customers know that you value their privacy and security above all else, and you build a positive reputation.

Digital certificates, which have become a need and are increasingly used, lead to operational problems and security threats when not managed. In many organizations, it is unclear who is responsible for certificates and who updates them. It is difficult to secure keys and certificates at all stages of their life cycle – from creation, request, renewal, rotation to revocation. Unsuccessful audits and unplanned outages can cause serious problems for organizations.

In the report titled “The Impact of Unsecured Digital Identities” published by Ponemon Institute under the sponsorship of Key Factor in January 2019, the difficulties and costs faced by organizations in the protection and management of cryptographic keys and digital identities were analyzed in detail. This report includes the results of the survey conducted for 596 IT companies on their digital certificates.

In the survey, the staff touched upon the difficulty of the management process that occurs with the increase in the use of digital certificates and the reasons for having a problem:

  • The expiration time of the certificates is unknown.
  • They cannot keep track of the increasing number of digital certificates.
  • The financial damage they suffer as a result of unplanned interruptions is on a large scale.
  • They have difficulty in determining the number of keys and certificates they use in the asset.
  • Most organizations aren’t sure how capable they are at securing keys and certificates. In other words, they do not know if the certificate they use is at the expected security level.
  • They are concerned about having and retaining IT staff who will be involved in qualified and certificate management.
  • The increasing number of digital certificates creates operational costs.

The research reveals the cybersecurity risks posed by ineffective key or certificate management problems and the total cost in case of failed certificate management:

How to monitor your SSL certificate for free?

The SOCRadar platform monitors all valid certificates, extracting metadata from all network traffic. There is a dashboard on the platform showing the certificates that are actively in use, about to expire, and which have already expired. In other words, all digital certificates currently used can be tracked through the system. When the expiry time of the certificates approaches, SOCRadar sends a warning to the users. Thus, the unplanned downtime situation is prevented. In addition, the number of digital certificates is constantly increasing and it is becoming difficult to keep track of. To prevent this, when a new certificate is generated, it is detected and monitored by SOCRadar. SOCRadar also monitors and grades the security of your digital certificates. Security evaluation is made according to the version and crypto algorithms used.

SOCRadar provides an SSL Overview Report by discovering and classifying your SSL certificates based on certification authorities, cipher suites, signature algorithms and lets you track any malicious changes, expiry or vulnerabilities to mitigate the impact of a possible cyber attack.

Manage your certification process with SOCRadar:

  • Continuously discover, grade and monitor all of your certificates.
  • Discover forgotten certificates.
  • Avoid unplanned downtime on expiring certificates.
  • Get alerted when a certificate is issued without your knowledge.
  • Detect malware C&C infrastructure through massive CT logs processing.
  • Reduce the risk of forgotten SSL/TLS certificates on multiple ports.
Discover SOCRadar® Community Edition for free

With SOCRadar® Community Edition, you’ll be able to:

  • Discover your unknown hacker-exposed assets
  • Check if your IP addresses tagged as malicious
  • Monitor your domain name on hacked websites and phishing databases
  • Get notified when a critical zero-day vulnerability is disclosed

Free for 12 months for 1 corporate domain and 100 auto-discovered digital assets.