Modern Enterprise Organizations Can’t Catch a Break: 81% Have Experienced Multiple Disruptive Security Outages in the Last Two Years

New research confirms business value of machine identities as critical for zero trust and multi-cloud strategies, yet many enterprises struggle with certificate-related security outages

CLEVELAND–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#PKIKeyfactor, the machine and IoT identity platform for modern enterprises, and Ponemon Institute today released the second-annual State of Machine Identity Management Report. 2022 findings validate the correlation between the growing digital footprint in today’s modern enterprise and the security challenges inherent to properly managing and protecting machine identities, such as X.509 certificates, code signing keys and SSH keys.

“Zero-trust strategies, cloud migration and the remote workforce are driving further use of PKI, keys and digital certificates in the enterprise,” said Chris Hickman, chief security officer at Keyfactor. “However, the rapid proliferation of machine identities has created new challenges for IT and security teams.”

The race to digital transformation has introduced a new set of security challenges. Modern businesses are struggling to manage the exponential volume at which machine identities are being created. Although 100% of respondents confirm they have a public key infrastructure (PKI) in place to securely issue certificates, enterprises struggle with proactive management. As more and more companies go digital, an always-on mentality is critical. As such, organizations need to grasp the fundamentals of proper PKI and certificate management.

Along with the rise of machine identities, enterprises struggle with a lack of complete certificate visibility. According to findings, more than half of respondents do not know the exact number of keys and certificates in their organization.

It’s no wonder that an alarming number of organizations (81%) confirm they’ve experienced at least two or more disruptive outages caused by expired certificates in the past two years, an increase from 77% in last year’s report. On average, respondents say it takes them more than three hours to recover from a certificate-related outage, with 39% saying it takes four hours or more.

Further, shorter certificate lifecycles have made it much more difficult to keep pace with certificate issuance and management. According to respondents, 65% are concerned about the increased workload and risk of outages caused by shorter SSL/TLS certificate lifespans, cut to one year in September 2020. Thankfully, these individuals are aware of potential solutions to mitigate the issue; 57% cite complete visibility of all certificates and 60% cite lifecycle automation as top priorities for the coming year.

“Enterprise-wide cryptography and machine identity management technology investments can address recurring challenges, namely the well-known security skills shortage and increasingly complex IT environments,” continued Hickman. “Above all, enterprises must double down on visibility and automation, as both are foundational elements to mitigating PKI-related challenges.”

Additional key report findings:

  • Key trends driving deployment of PKI, keys and certificates: 54% cited zero-trust strategy implementation as critical, while cloud-based services (49%) and remote work (45%) trailed closely behind
  • Preparing for crypto-agility: 66% are deploying more cryptographic keys and digital certificates. Further, 57% consider the seamless orchestration and security of every digital key and certificate as a strategic priority for the coming year
  • Alleviating the burden: 55% will attempt to scale back the complexity of existing IT infrastructure and 53% will invest in hiring and retaining qualified personnel.

The study was conducted by Ponemon Institute on behalf of Keyfactor and includes responses from 1,231 IT and infosec executives and practitioners in North America and EMEA, spanning 13 industries, including financial services, industrial & manufacturing, public sector, healthcare & pharmaceutical, education & research, and retail among others.

View the complete findings and download the 2022 State of Machine Identity Management Report today.

About Keyfactor

Keyfactor is the machine and IoT identity platform for modern enterprises. The company helps security teams manage cryptography as critical infrastructure by simplifying PKI, automating certificate lifecycle management and enabling crypto-agility at scale. Companies trust Keyfactor to secure every digital key and certificate for multi-cloud enterprises, DevOps, and embedded IoT security.


Nina Korfias

fama PR for Keyfactor

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