The latest PKI and IoT Trends Study conducted by the Ponemon Institute is now available, and one of the clear takeaways is that the number of certificates organizations are issuing and managing has continued to rise.

This trend carries on from what we saw last year, where after years of a slow and steady increase, the number spiked. And this year the growth continues. So, what kind of increase are we talking about here? Well, from the 2019 study to this year there was a 50% increase totaling an average of 58,639 certificates. That’s significant and something organizations need to pay attention to and stay on top of, especially when it comes to management of these certificates.

Average number of certificates issued by organization

So what’s causing all this? Remote and distributed workforces organizations have needed to ensure that people, devices, systems, and communications are secured. This is often done with certificates which encrypt, authenticate, and sign. Additionally, a lot of this can be attributed to the continuing rise in machine identities. From mobile and IoT devices to applications and containers, the amount of machine identities has gotten to the point where they outnumber human identities.

And why does this matter? As mentioned earlier: management. More certificates are being issued by multiple Certificate Authorities (CAs) for a variety of use cases. Centralized visibility and control over all of these is an imperative. Not to mention some of the complexities that come with machine identities – such as short life certificates – make manual processes unsustainable and require automation.

Despite the fact that organizations are suffering from the challenge of insufficient skills and resources they need to prioritize and ensure they have a tool in place that can bring together all of the certificates in their environment. Having everything under a single pane of glass and central enforcement point, reduces the risk of outages and vulnerabilities caused by unmanaged, rogue or expired certificates.

To read the full 2021 Global PKI and IoT Trends Study, click here.

Learn more about Entrust’s Certificate Hub and how it can manage machine identities.