Digital identities are a common part of any modern enterprise organization. Tracking and management of these identities can be a difficult task. Many times, the merging organizations have different approaches to digital identity management and could have very differing opinions on how to secure them. This is especially true if both parties already have their own PKI environment and processes that need to be integrated. Each will have its own set of identities and templates that have already been deployed, and its own way of managing applications.
Many organizations look at M&A as a chance to update and standardize the way they do things. Some may move infrastructure to the cloud, while others look at it as an opportunity to implement new technologies or invest in outsourcing. But what many organizations fail to realize is that M&A provides the perfect opportunity to incorporate an enhanced digital identity management platform to both elevate overall security capabilities, and optimize the IT project work associated with M&A.
Large scale projects of M&A are exactly when you need to have the right tools in place to manage data and track changes. Identity management tools have the power to help you quickly gather information and easily automate tasks throughout the merger process. Automating the discovery process allows you to have a continuous view of the digital identities in the environment without the headaches of trying to manually track them.
Here are a few examples of why an M&A is a perfect time to implement the proper enterprise tools for digital identity management:
- In the case of having multiple PKI environments, the issuing Certificate Authorities (CAs) from both environments will need to be distributed to the end-points across the combined organizations. This ensures that all of the certificates can be trusted. If this is not done, critical errors can arise, such as:
- Application whitelisting can fail on security devices
- SSL connections to enterprise applications can fail or be very inconsistent, causing an overload to the help desk
- SSL interception technologies such as WAN accelerators, SSL Inspection devices, and proxy servers can cause traffic blocks if their issued certificates are not trusted by all entities.
- Many applications will need to be moved or re-platformed. Having a tool in place to quickly issue certificates and deploy them to the appropriate locations is vital. Manual processes will slow down integration tasks and cause human errors that are difficult to track down.
- There may be a general lack of security visibility for integrated servers and applications. Having a tool in place to detect and report on these issues can allow the new security team to quickly assess weaknesses and respond to them in a timely manner, instead of being surprised by a new audit finding down the road.
- Modern IT organizations are looking for options to alleviate the workload from day-to-day management and security of an on-premise PKI environment and move to a PKI as-a-Service offering. M&A is an ideal time to migrate a new PKI infrastructure into a secure hosted solution.
- An additional budget may be available. In most organizations, IT budgets are held flat year over year. M&As often unlock additional “Integration” funds that can be used to implement new toolsets. At the end of the M&A when IT budgets are re-assessed for the combined company, the expense spends for the new tool subscription/maintenance can then be justified and rolled into the ongoing IT budget plan.
Many of the tasks identified below can be greatly simplified by implementing the Keyfactor’s PKI as-a-Service and certificate lifecycle automation platform before or during an M&A project. While migration projects will vary greatly between organizations, the tasks below illustrate some of the most common questions and scenarios that Keyfactor solves. Let’s see how you can optimize these tasks and make your migration easier, faster, and more secure.