Symantec tackles certificates with Intelligence Centre


Symantec today announced a new cloud-based product to help large enterprises deal with the ever-growing number of security certificates within their organisations.

The Symantec Certificate Intelligence Centre enables companies to manage the certificates they run which ensure secure connections between internal applications and web browsers from one central location located in the cloud, regardless of which Certificate Authority (CAs) they come from.

There are currently more than 650 CAs providing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates and the organisations have been coming under increased scrutiny due to high profile hacking incidents.

The issue with numerous companies using the same relatively small group of SSLs is if a hacker manages to break into one of the CAs servers, it could affect thousands of firms, as well as millions of users.

Last week saw DigiNotar a Dutch CA hacked by a cyber criminal known as ComodoHacker, leading to more than 500 fake website certificates being issues for the likes of Gmail and even an MI6 website. The unidentified hacker then threatened further CAs, leading to GlobalSign halting its own issuing of certificates.

So, Symantec's launch is coming at a time when SSL security is of high priority. Features including automated scanning, advanced notification if a certificate is about to expire, for example and in-depth reporting in the Symantec Certificate Intelligence Centre, helps keep a closer eye on an issue at the forefront of security minds, whilst making it more scalable and accessible through the benefits of a cloud model.

"Organisations are already faced with the challenge of visibility into the existing estate of SSL certificates from multiple certificate authorities," said Steve Coplan, senior analyst of enterprise security practice at the 451 Group.

"This challenge will be further compounded as digital certificates for authentication and secure communications proliferate through adoption of cloud-based services, virtual machine sprawl and distribution of certificates to endpoints, particularly mobile endpoints."

He concluded: "Cross-platform approaches, such as Symantec Certificate Intelligence Centre, can provide the tools to tackle this challenge through greater degree of visibility into the state and distribution of certificates and by improving rates of automation."

The new service, aimed at the large-scale enterprise, is available now.

With the ongoing threat to CAs, is the system nearing the end of its days? Check out our analysis of the issue here.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.