GaraSign For TLS

TLS is the industry standard protocol for securing data in transit. Two of the biggest challenges with TLS are protecting the keys and managing their certificates. TLS keys are often stored in software directly on web servers, leaving them vulnerable to compromise. For large enterprises managing many servers, this creates serious risk and makes certificate lifecycle management difficult. 

With GaraSign, keys are secured in a hardware security module (HSM), rather than in software or stored locally on servers. Avoiding outages with timely rotation of certificates is greatly simplified, as all keys and certificates are centrally managed.

TLS is ubiquitous throughout enterprise IT environments.

How do you securely manage all the keys and certificates?

The industry standard for enterprise organizations is to encrypt all network traffic with TLS. For enterprises, this presents two challenges: the keys must be secured and the certificates must be renewed prior to expiration to avoid outages and downtime.

All too often, TLS keys and certificates are stored locally in software on servers. This doesn’t provide adequate security, nor does it enable easy certificate rotation, as the certificates are not centrally managed.

Minimal Key Protection

Storing keys in software on end-point devices and servers leaves them vulnerable to compromise by attackers.

Certificate Outages

SSL/TLS certificates must be renewed to avoid outages, but it's hard to do so when they aren't centrally managed.

Key Sprawl & Compliance

Many servers means many keys, making it difficult to remain compliant and meet key management requirements.

With GaraSign, all keys and certificates are centrally managed and secured in an HSM.

Secure Access To HSM-Protected Keys

GaraSign is deployed on customer-managed infrastructure between the HSM and the servers, restricting those servers to proxied key access. 

The result is that keys remain secured and non-exportable in the HSM, while servers can use the keys they need to perform TLS handshakes and protect network traffic. GaraSign further secures keys via granular access controls and features, such as device authentication, IP address whitelisting, and more.

Centrally-Managed Certificates

When you deploy GaraSign, all TLS certificates are centrally-managed. This ensures easy certificate rotation to prevent outages and costly downtime. It’s also easy to perform other certificate lifecycle management tasks.

TLS Key Management Made Easy

No matter how many keys and certificates in a given environment, GaraSign enables enterprises to manage and audit their infrastructure from a centralized location. Using this approach, administrators always maintain full visibility on all keys. GaraSign creates a detailed log for each key, making it easy to audit key usage to see when keys were used, at what time, and by which users.

Client Certificate Authentication

GaraSign can also be used to manage the keys and certificates used for client authentication (aka mutual TLS). This can be used to enable privileged access management, via features like multi-factor and device authentication, without reconfiguring servers.

GaraSign for TLS FAQs

The main benefit is that the sensitive private keys are never exported. There are additional benefits in that certificate management can be automated and advanced security controls can be put in place on the keys.

GaraSign supports both. Web applications should have their TLS keys protected by GaraSign to ensure attackers can't impersonate them by stealing the private key. Clients that use Mutual TLS should have the client's private key protected by GaraSign to provide centralized auditing, automated certificate management, and seamless deployment of additional security controls.

While there is an extra network hop added, the performance impact is minimal since this key is only used during the initial TLS handshake. After the handshake is complete, GaraSign is no longer needed.

When using Mutual TLS, GaraSign can proxy the client key used to complete the challenge-response handshake. With the key behind GaraSign's control, GaraSign can enforce additional security controls (e.g., MFA) before it allows the use of the key. In other words, the web application delegates the additional security controls to GaraSign, and is not even aware that the additional controls are taking place.

Yes. GaraSign can transparently enforce security controls such as multi-factor authentication without any new coding. Just turn on client-certificate authentication (either at your web server, load balancer, or some other proxy) and store the client private keys in GaraSign. Then, for each of those keys, set the policy to one that requires multi-factor authentication (or any other security control you would like to enforce).

GaraSign can automate the renewal process and make sure the clients and servers have the new certificates they need. For extremely sensitive environments where certificate automation is not permitted, GaraSign can alert administrators about certificates nearing expiration and they can decide what actions to take.

Give GaraSign a Try

Schedule a demo to see how GaraSign can improve the security and performance of cryptographic operations throughout your environment.