SSL Certificate authority DigiCert announced on Thursday that it has launched a free, automated SSL certificate discovery tool for end users of certificates from DigiCert, as well as from any other supplier.
The DigiCert SSL Discovery Tool, says the company, is available as a free download from the DigiCert website, and provides an automated means for locating and cataloging SSL certificates deployed across an organization’s various departments and business units.
DigiCert says the tool (available via a free download link delivered by email following a website sign-up) is designed to help save IT professionals time and money, as well as to avoid mistakes that can come from manual inventory of certificates – particularly unexpected certificate expirations, which can result in disruptions to service or compliance issues.
A medium-sized or large organization can have hundreds, even thousands, of SSL certificates deployed, says DigiCert, and while there are centralized enterprise management tools available, companies that don’t use a centralized approach to managing those SSL certificates can suffer from trying to keep track of it all.
“Over time, with organizational growth and increasing use of cloud IT and mobile integration, some SSL certificates can fall through the cracks,” says DigiCert CEO Nicholas Hales, quoted in the press release announcing the tool’s launch. “The DigiCert SSL Discovery Tool simplifies the task of controlling large deployments of SSL certificates from multiple authorities across diverse platforms.”
Providing useful free tools for SSL certificates is part of the business for DigiCert, which also offers a free tool for checking if an SSL certificate is installed correctly.
The new tool is also a clever marketing opportunity for DigiCert, in that it offers some “streamlined” renewal functions. Along with the means to send out email alerts in connection with impending expirations, the tool is also integrated directly with DigiCert’s own billing and provisioning functions, enabling DigiCert customers to renew certificates from within the tool.
In addition to making life simpler for DigiCert customers, those simple renewal tools seem designed to, make DigiCert a little more appealing to customers of other SSL certificate authorities. It’s not a stretch to imagine somebody who comes to rely on the tool considering moving certificates to the company for ease-of-use reasons.
For hosting providers, many of whom resell the SSL certificates of DigiCert and other CAs (often alongside one another), the function might raise concerns about the prospect of losing some of that business to DigiCert’s own direct business, with such a streamlined process.
In an email exchange with the WHIR, DigiCert says its partners resell its services in either of two ways, through referrals or by taking on the creating account for the customer. In either case, automated renewals through the tool would provide the partner with the commission.
The company says the tool doesn’t currently have a function that enables it to be redistributed by resellers, but DigiCert says it is “review[ing] other enhancements or uses for the tool,” and will have something to announce along these lines some time soon.
Talk back: Have you encountered any SSL certificate management issues among your customers? Would a tool like this add some value to your offering? Let us know in the comments section.