Websites Replace Digital Certificates as Browsers Set Deadlines to Revoke Trust

The company that bought one of the largest certificate authorities (CAs) said it has nearly finished replacing the digital certificates most commonly used by popular websites as major browsers prepare to phase them out in upcoming releases.

DigiCert Inc. said it has been sending mass email messages, calling customers and running webinars to make sure website owners are aware that Google and Mozilla will no longer trust Symantec-backed digital certificates when they release Chrome 66 next month and Mozilla Firefox 60 in May. DigiCert, which bought the CA business from Symantec last fall, noted that more than 99 percent of the top 1 million websites have taken appropriate action.

Purging Outdated Digital Certificates

According to SecurityWeek, the browser-makers established deadlines to revoke trust in digital certificates in response to a series of errors in the way they were issued and managed. DigiCert set up a portal for customers to check their domain name to determine whether they need new or replacement certificates. Companies that used RapidSSL, GeoTrust and Thawte can also obtain replacements through DigiCert.

For all its progress, Enterprise Times raised questions about how DigiCert will manage to win over the remaining customers who had obtained digital certificates through Symantec and other providers. This includes not only the top websites, but also many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that could be affected by the browsers’ deadlines.

A Bumpy Transition

The transition of the CA business from Symantec to DigiCert has not been entirely smooth. Earlier this month, CRN Australia reported that the website of Trustico, a Symantec reseller, temporarily went offline after DigiCert claimed it had emailed the private keys of more than 20,000 digital certificates, which were later revoked. According to TechTarget, DigiCert claimed that 23,000 certificates were compromised, although the number of individual organizations affected by the incident has not been publicly reported.

Recently, DigiCert set up a new reseller program to make it easier to obtain and deploy digital certificates within the enterprise. The program aims to help the CA’s partners take advantage of the opportunity offered by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), public key infrastructure and Internet of Things (IoT) security.

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Shane Schick

Writer & Editor

Shane Schick is a writer, editor and speaker who focuses on how information technology creates business value. He lives...