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PKI use surveyed

The cyber product company Thales has announced the results of its 2016 PKI Global Trends Study. The report, based on independent research by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Thales, suggests an increased reliance on public key infrastructures (PKIs) in enterprises, driven by growing use of cloud-based services and applications and the Internet of Things (IoT).

More than 5,000 business and IT managers were surveyed in 11 countries: US, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Mexico, India, and for the first time this year the Middle East (Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates).

Findings included:

– 62 per cent of businesses regard cloud-based services as the most important trend driving the deployment of applications using PKI (50pc in 2015) and over a quarter (28pc) say IoT will drive this deployment;
– PKIs are increasingly used to support more and more applications. On average they support eight applications within a business – up one from 2015, but in the United States this number went up by three applications;
– The most significant challenge organisations face around PKI is the inability of their existing PKIs to support new applications (58pc of respondents said this)
– a large percentage of respondents continue to report that they have no certificate revocation techniques
– The use of high assurance mechanisms such as hardware security modules (HSMs) to secure PKI has increased
– The top places where HSMs are deployed to secure PKIs are for the most critical root and issuing certificate authority (CA) private keys (CAs) together with offline and online root certificate authorities

Dr Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of The Ponemon Institute, says: As organisations digitally transform their business, they are increasingly relying on cloud-based services and applications, as well as experiencing an explosion in IoT connected devices. This rapidly escalating burden of data sharing and device authentication is set to apply an unprecedented level of pressure onto existing PKIs, which now are considered part of the core IT backbone, resulting in a huge challenge for security professionals to create trusted environments. In short, as organisations continue to move to the cloud it is hugely important that PKIs are future proofed – sooner rather than later.”

And John Grimm, senior director security strategy, Thales e-Security, says: “An increasing number of today’s enterprise applications are in need of digital certificate issuance services — and many PKIs are not equipped to support them. A PKI needs a strong root of trust to be fit for purpose if it is to support the growing dependency and business criticality of its services. By securing the process of issuing certificates and managing signing keys in an HSM, organisations can greatly reduce the risk of their loss or theft, thereby creating a high assurance foundation for digital security. Thales has decades of experience providing HSM-based PKI solutions and services that help organisations deploy world-class PKIs and trusted infrastructures.”

Download a copy of the new 2016 PKI Global Trends Study at –


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