51% of enterprises claim low ability to detect and respond to digital certificate and key misuse, according to Keyfactor and the Ponemon Institute.
“Connectivity and the number of digital identities within the enterprise has grown exponentially thanks to continued cloud, mobile, DevOps and IoT adoption,” said Chris Hickman, CSO, Keyfactor.
“The complexity of managing those identities while keeping them securely connected to the business has created a critical trust gap – in many cases the keys and certificates designed to build trust are instead causing outages and security breaches.”
Digital certificates and keys ensure authenticity across enterprise user, application and device identities. Cryptographic algorithms encrypt the data associated with those identities, providing secure communication and exploit protection.
Two-thirds of respondents say their organization is adding additional layers of encryption to comply with industry regulations and IT policies; however, shorter certificate validity has doubled the management workload on short-staffed IT and security teams.
Additional key findings
- Connected IoT increasing risk: 60% say they’re adding additional layers of encryption technologies to secure IoT devices, but 46% admit low ability to maintain IoT device identities and cryptography over device lifetime.
- A rise in security incidents: on average, organizations have experienced a Certificate Authority (CA) or rogue man-in-the-middle (MITM) and/or phishing attack five times in the last 24 months, with a 40% likelihood of a MITM or phishing attack over the next 24 months; 73% of respondents admitted that digital certificates have and continue to cause unplanned downtime and outages.
- Staffing shortages: on average, 16% of the IT security budget is spent on PKI deployment annually, yet just 38% of respondents say their organization has enough IT security staff members dedicated to PKI deployment.
- Cryptography related security incidents undermine trust: 76% of respondents say failure to secure keys and certificates undermines the trust their organization relies upon to operate.
- Cryptography lacks a center of excellence: Despite the rising cost of PKI and growth of cryptography-related incidents, just 60% of companies have the ability to drive enterprise-wide best practices.
“This report reinforces cryptography’s importance within the security agenda,” said Hickman.
“In many cases, PKI remains a manual function with ownership split across IT and security teams. Growing connectivity has created an exposure epidemic. Without a clear PKI in-house or outsourced program owner and process to close critical trust gaps, the risk of outages and breaches will continue to rise.”