Seemingly overnight, our working environment has changed. With more employees needing to work from home with full access to enterprise networks and applications, cybercrooks see an opportunity to strike. The need to secure such a high volume of devices at once has created significant strain on IT departments.

This makes proper PKI paired with Authentication critical to enable an organization to scale, manage and secure its communications.

Ensure trusted access

We are seeing device certificates a top PKI use case with our customers -- as you can imagine, all connected devices need certificates. We are long past the days when IT departments only had to worry about securing company approved devices. Today, we have complex environments, with increasing numbers of employees using their own devices to access company networks and applications. These devices are not provisioned by IT, creating a larger attack surface and higher risk.

Personal devices containing corporate credentials and data require strict security management to ensure trusted access. Typically, this is accomplished with a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution combined with strong security credentials (i.e., digital certificates) that leverage PKI. Without digital certificates, communications to authenticate a user and validate a device wouldn't be secure and would pose a great risk.

Check device reputation

Simple tests include geolocation, ISP, and mobile carrier detection. Check to ensure the device is not jailbroken or rooted. Also confirm that the device is not using a TOR browser.

Ensure secure device provisioning

Use ActiveSync for Microsoft environments, or for a higher level of security, select an authentication solution that integrates with major MDM vendors to protect all of your endpoints, including employee devices in BYOD environments.

Enable encryption and signing

For an added level of BYOD protection, choose an authentication solution that offers integration to MDM vendors to deliver email and file encryption, along with email and document signing.

Prepare for the future

While securing new work from home users and devices is the most immediate concern, don't lose sight of the future. Investments today can get you ready to scale with your business into new use cases.

In the 2019 Ponemon Global PKI and IoT Trends report, we saw that Internet of Things (IoT) came in third for the top trends driving the deployment of applications using PKI – which has almost doubled from four years ago. And this is no surprise, since IoT is certainly a use case for device certificates there is a clear need to provide strong security and credentials to every smart and connected device — whether it's a  smartphone or, in the future, a connected car. Organizations are going to have to continue to contend with more technologies coming into their environments, which will require more devices connected securely to the corporate servers.

Regardless of wha's driving the need, one thing is for sure, proper PKI and Authentication have never been more important as we navigate through these unchartered waters.

Check out our MDM solution brief for more information on the benefits and importance of an MDM integration, and which vendors we work with.

Learn more about how our authentication portfolio leverages EMM/MDM integrations to ensure secure access to key applications anytime, anywhere.

Samantha Mabey headshot

Samantha Mabey

Samantha Mabey is a Product Marketing Management Director of Certificate Solutions at Entrust Datacard. The Certificate Solutions portfolio - which includes PKI, SSL, IoT and digital signatures - is built on decades of expertise, and supports business as they strive to establish a higher level of public and private trust. Samantha is responsible for driving the marketing, strategy and communications of the private trust offerings within the portfolio.