How ITOM visibility delivers peace of mind


IT Operations Management visibility delivers peace of mind - ServiceNow Blog

The check engine light on a vehicle warns the driver when something under the hood needs attention. Wouldn’t it be nice if every organization had a similar flashing indicator to let them know when their Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate is about to expire? Unfortunately, reality isn’t that simple.

We tend to deal with the day-to-day maintenance of our vehicle in different ways. With family and friends, for example, there seem to be three general personality types:

  • Meticulous – the people who read the manual for fun and diligently schedule maintenance based on manufacturer recommendation
  • Pragmatist – those who don’t think about maintenance much but will grudgingly take the vehicle in for service if the check engine light turns red
  • Gullible Optimist – the people who think things will magically fix themselves—if the check engine light comes on, it’s probably an error or not that important, so they wait in hopes that it might turn off

The problems with a reactive approach

Security certificate management is very similar. You know you should be proactive and ahead of the curve to minimize the risk, but there are always reasons not to:

  • “I’m too busy.”
  • “Someone less senior should handle it because it’s grunt work.”
  • “I hate spreadsheets and can’t set up a pivot table to save my life.”
  • “There are so many different data sources that I don’t know where to look or which one is accurate.”
  • “We’ve had expired certificates before, and it’s never caused a problem yet.”

For the Gullible Optimist driver, this approach could lead to waiting for a tow truck at 3 am in the middle of nowhere. For the IT staff who follow the same foolhardy belief, this attitude could result in service outages and data breaches that cause reputational damage and financial loss. Add in the risk of loss of continued employment, and being an IT Gullible Optimist becomes a dangerous position to be in.

Better IT operations management

ServiceNow can help take the grunt work and tedious processes out of your daily security certificate management. With IT Operations Management—specifically ITOM Visibility—you receive the Certificate Inventory and Management feature that allows you to automatically discover, take inventory of, and proactively manage all of your TLS certificates.

If a certificate is nearing expiration, you’ll be notified. But gaining insight into an expired or soon-to-expire certificate isn’t the most important benefit. The biggest advantage is the automatic creation of a certificate task via IT workflows to renew the expiring certificate or to create an incident for an already expired certificate.

This certificate management automation delivers three key benefits:

  1. The company faces less risk of service outage and data breach collateral damage by eliminating a common security risk.
  2. Customers are less likely to have a bad experience and are at less risk of end-user security vulnerabilities.
  3. Security professionals are freed from manual, tedious, and cumbersome processes for tracking and managing a large volume of certificates.

If you want to continue to hope expired certificates won’t cause a problem at your organization, you’re welcome to remain a Gullible Optimist. But, if you want to get ahead of the curve and minimize security challenges with less effort and time, discover how ServiceNow ITOM Visibility can help.

Need the basics? Check out “AIOps & Visibility for Dummies, ServiceNow Special Edition.”

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