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Machine Identity Management - A Protection Against Cyberattacks

Published Wed, Jun 30 2021 15:18 pm
by The Silicon Trend

ST News
 

Today, digital transformation initiatives offer organizational enhancements in manufacturing, IoT, & process automation. However, the exponential growth of machines & devices in enterprises, factories & industrial facilities, exposing critical cyberattacks within machine-to-machine communications. 

Machined identities must be adequately managed & authenticated, assuring that access is only granted to particular devices or users. Machine Identity Management is the digital credential used to establish trust, authenticate resources & other machines & encrypt communication. Without proper authentication management, an increasing number of devices are inherent to digitized processes, posing a significant threat to business continuity & malicious attacks.

Companies need both tactical execution & comprehensive strategy to obtain an organized digital identity system that reliably governs, secures & verifies device-to-device communications. Data & applications across multi-cloud & cloud environments, innovative connected devices & distributed workforces intersect in ways that demand a powerful digital identity approach that safeguards against emerging & persistent risks.

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Modern organizations rely on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates as the golden standard to ensure identity. PKI serves as a fundamental component of a Zero Trust architecture that adheres to robust security methods for all devices, application identities & end-users. Using e-certificates & their cryptographic key pairs strengthen the machine identity verifications. PKI can also serve to secure the connection between entities that lie beyond firewalls.

Digital Identities Vs. Passwords & MFAs

Today's IT security teams must identify & authenticate identities throughout the enterprise. Passwords & multi-factor authentication (MFA) offer specific security measures that are no longer effective now. In contrast to MFA & passwords, digital identity using e-certificates eradicates the reliance upon secrets to be shared that might be intercepted by malicious attacks. 

Authentication occurs when the device proves the private key possession, which is typically stored & protected in the device's hardware security module (HSM). The transaction is then signed by the private key & the public key verifies it. As a result, IT experts must rethink their certificate management strategies, mainly as organizations increasingly market with services reliant upon rapidly evolving DevOps environments. 

Enterprises require an automated solution that ensures certificates to be correctly configured & executed without human intervention. Automation aids in reducing threats but also helps IT fields in managing operational rates & smoothening time-to-market for services & products. A trusted certificate authority (CA) should support automatic revocation, installation & renewal of non-SSL & SSL/TLS certificates through industry-leading protocols, 3rd party integrations & APIs, eradicating the issue of certificate volume caps that can happen with open-source alternatives.

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