Device authentication

Device authentication

In today’s digital world, secure authentication to networks (VPN, WIFI) and applications is crucial. Managing personal X.509 certificates for device authentication based on 802.1X is an important step in ensuring this.

X.509 certificates are used to verify the identity of devices and confirm their access to the network. By utilizing automated distribution of these certificates, the process of access management can be optimized and streamlined.

An important advantage of automated management and distribution of X.509 certificates is the security it provides. It ensures an efficient and effective means of authentication and minimizes the risk of unauthorized network access. Additionally, it can improve employee productivity as they don’t have to manually manage and install certificates on devices such as laptops or phones.

Another benefit is the ability to respond quickly to changes in the network. When a device is added or removed, the central authority can update this information immediately and accordingly revoke or issue certificates.

In summary, automated management and distribution of personal X.509 certificates is a crucial step in securing networks and minimizing the risk of unauthorized access. It offers efficiency and effectiveness and can help improve employee productivity.

The KeyTalk Certificate & Key Management System (CKMS) is a Certificate Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution suitable for almost any type of business or organization, specifically designed for automated management and distribution of personal X.509 certificates.

Choosing 802.1x EAP/TLS certificate-based authentication, where each approved corporate device gains access to the company network based on a short-lived authentication certificate and cryptographic key pair for secure encrypted access, is an excellent choice for authentication in a modern organization. However, it presents challenges for IT administrators without a CLM like the KeyTalk CKMS.

Since these are private X.509 certificates issued by an internal private CA, such as MS Active Directory Certificate Service, KeyTalk private CA, or a specially established private CA by public CAs like DigiCert or GlobalSign, there are no fixed costs associated with certificate issuance.

The challenges lie in distributing and installing the certificates on the device seeking network access. This includes workstations, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones nowadays.

Setting up a private certificate root can be challenging as it requires careful handling, and there are few IT administrators with extensive experience in this area. That’s why this functionality within the KeyTalk CKMS is fully automated, enabling the setup of a root CA, primary CAs, and signing CAs in a matter of minutes. Of course, this setup can be professionally outsourced to specialists from public CAs like DigiCert and GlobalSign, but that comes with a different price tag.

Certificate-based authentication of mobile phones is a challenge in itself, but here too, KeyTalk offers convenience, time savings, and control. Increasingly, especially in larger organizations, the distribution and configuration of X.509 certificates for authentication purposes are managed in combination with Mobile Device Management Systems (MDMs) such as MS Intune, Mobile Iron, or VMware Workspace ONE. All these MDM systems seamlessly integrate with the KeyTalk CKMS, making it easy and fast to install and configure KeyTalk-managed certificates on various user devices through these MDM systems.