Digital certificates are small pieces of code created by mathematics that ensure secure information be sent between devices and websites in an encrypted manner.
They help keep IT infrastructure up and running safely. Certificate authorities electronically vouch that the certificates are real.
These certificates have an expiration date though, that could be anywhere from months to years.
Digital certificates are issued for a variety of software that encrypts communications, including those embedded in hardware.
There are many reasons why certificates expire; changes in technology, new vulnerabilities in encryption, and encryption ownership changes, to name a few.
If a web server certificate fails, the secure connection will not be made. The two pieces can not trust each other which leads to it not working properly. This will be visibly displayed as an error message to anyone that visits a website. Which leads to that website looking untrustworthy.
Even though there are billion of certificates, more are needed each day.
What is needed is a mechanism to make sure they are renewed when necessary, said Tim Callan, a senior fellow at certificate issuer Sectigo.
“As business becomes digital in increasingly complex and ubiquitous ways, all enterprises need to protect themselves from repeating this disastrous outcome. A best practice in so doing is to automate the discovery, monitoring, and renewal of certificates of all types.”