Windows Azure cloud storage faced a lengthy outage over the weekend over one silly mistake: an expired SSL certificate.
Like domain names, SSL certificates have to be renewed, and though there are many ways for business owners to remind themselves of these mundane tasks, it is crucial to understand why it is so important to ensure someone at their organization has it covered.
The highly publicized Windows Azure outage gives web hosts an opportunity to remind customers to check their SSL certificates. There are many tools available for hosting customers to do this, but a new service from application monitoring provider Stackify, called certalert.me, performs a check for expired domains and SSL certificates and emails users to remind them before they expire.
“When Windows Azure went down due to an expired SSL certificate, it sent us searching for a simple way to monitor for when SSL certificates expire,” according to the certalert.me website. “We couldn’t find any simple free tools to do so, so we built one.”
According to certalert.me, forgetting to renew an SSL certificate or domain name is a common problem, and its tool will save users from the frustration and embarrassment of letting them expire.
While your customers are at it, perhaps they want to check that their SSL configurations are correct with the free SSL Configuration Checker from GlobalSign, which ensures that SSL certificates are configured properly.
Talk back: Are you reminding customers to renew SSL certificates in light of what happened with Windows Azure? Are you currently developing any tools to check for SSL certificate or domain expiration? Let us know in a comment.