June 15, 2023

eBookCorporate PKICryptography Solution

PKI Maturity Model – A Practical Guide to Modernize PKI

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PKI Maturity Model - A practical Guide to Modernize PKI

Public key infrastructure (PKI) isn’t anything new. It’s been around for decades. Beginning as the trust engine behind the internet, it is now ubiquitous in every business to authenticate and establish trust in each device, workload, human, and connected thing.

As critical as it is for security, PKI is often disjointed and misunderstood. Someone sets
up a Microsoft CA or installs OpenSSL, and they say they’re “doing PKI.” The problem with this overly simplistic definition is that it creates a disparate approach, where PKI is a “tool” versus a strategic asset – making it extremely difficult to govern and secure.

The reality is that PKI isn’t just software. It’s critical infrastructure that requires
processes, policies, infrastructure, the proper tooling, and people to manage it. To establish trust and better support business initiatives, organizations need a deeper and broader understanding of how PKI is used across different teams and applications, then develop a strategy for how it should be designed, deployed, and managed to match those needs (and future needs).

There’s just one problem – well, maybe a few.

For starters, cybersecurity skills aren’t exactly a dime a dozen. Many IT and infrastructure
groups don’t have the headcount or the skillset on their team to handle PKI. Either that or the one person who knew how to run it switches roles or moves on, and suddenly you’re left with a PKI “hot potato” to pass onto the next IT admin in line.

Meanwhile, the move to the cloud, containers, and microservices, combined with the need
to support remote work and IoT devices, only increases the demand for PKI. A recent report shows that 53% of organizations don’t have enough staff to maintain PKI, yet the average company has nine different PKI solutions they need to manage.

The worst part is, in many cases, the team responsible for managing PKI is set up for
failure right from the start, tasked with building a modern solution using tools and software from the 2000s (you know, back when we were playing Snake on our retro mobile phones).

Bottom line: it’s time for a modern, agile, resilient PKI strategy.

It’s not all bad news. PKI has come a long way since its inception. New technologies have
emerged, standard protocols and well-documented guidance are now widely available, and PKI practices have evolved to meet modern requirements.

That’s why we’ve built this maturity model. Whether you’re new to the space or an experi
enced practitioner, this guide will help you measure your current maturity level against advancements in PKI practices and help you establish a new foundation for an agile and modern PKI that can scale with your business.


In this guide, you will learn:

  • How to understand and measure the operational excellence of PKI
  • How to evaluate your organization’s PKI maturity and where to start
  • The five levels of the Keyfactor PKI Maturity Model (PKIMM)
  • The potential risks and setbacks of not improving PKI maturity


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