Venafi Study: 75% of Global CIOs Say TLS Certificates Are Top Concern

Over half of CIOs are apprehensive about business interruptions due to expired machine identities

SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CIOVenafi®, the inventor and leading provider of machine identity protection, today announced the results of a study on the security and operational risks connected with machine identities used to establish encrypted SSL/TLS connections. The study evaluated the opinions of 550 chief information officers (CIOs) from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia.

TLS certificates act as machine identities, safeguarding the flow of sensitive data to trusted machines. With the acceleration of digital transformation, the number of machine identities is skyrocketing. At the same time, cybercriminals are targeting machine identities, including TLS keys and certificates, and their capabilities, such as the encrypted traffic they enable, to use in attacks.

Compromised machine identities can have a major financial impact. A recent AIR Worldwide study estimated that between $51 billion to $72 billion in losses to the global economy could be eliminated through the proper protection of machine identities.

Key findings from Venafi’s study include:

  • 75% of global CIOs expressed concern about the security risks connected with the proliferation of TLS machine identities.
  • More than half of CIOs (56%) said they worry about outages and business interruptions due to expired certificates.
  • 97% of CIOs estimated that the number of TLS machine identities used by their organization would increase at least 10–20% over the next year.
  • 93% of respondents estimated that they had a minimum of 10,000 active TLS certificates by their organizations; 40% say they have more than 50,000 TLS certificates in use.

“According to a Venafi survey from 2018, once IT professionals deployed a comprehensive machine identity protection solution, they typically found 57,000 TLS machine identities that they did not know they had in their businesses and cloud,” said Kevin Bocek, vice president of security strategy and threat intelligence at Venafi. “This study indicates that many CIOs are likely significantly underestimating the number of TLS machine identities currently in use. As a result, they are unaware of the size of the attack surface and the operational risks that these unknown machine identities bring to their organization. Whether it’s debilitating outages from expired certificates, or attackers hiding in encrypted traffic for extended periods of time, risks abound. The only way to eliminate these risks is to discover, continuously monitor and automate the lifecycle of all TLS certificates across the entire enterprise network—and this includes short lived certificates that are used in the cloud, virtual and DevOps environments.”

For more information, please visit:

Whitepaper: CIO Study: TLS Certificate Risk Mitigation Top Concern for Organizations

Blog: Are You Concerned about TLS Certificate Security Risks? [More than Your CIO?]

About Venafi

Venafi is the cybersecurity market leader and inventor of machine identity protection, securing machine-to-machine connections and communications. Venafi protects machine identity types by orchestrating cryptographic keys and digital certificates for SSL/TLS, IoT, code signing, mobile and SSH. Venafi provides global visibility of machine identities and the risks associated with them for the extended enterprise—on premises, mobile, virtual, cloud and IoT—at machine speed and scale. Venafi puts this intelligence into action with automated remediation that reduces the security and availability risks connected with weak or compromised machine identities while safeguarding the flow of information to trusted machines and preventing communication with machines that are not trusted.

With over 30 patents, Venafi delivers innovative solutions for the world’s most demanding, security-conscious Global 5000 organizations and government agencies, including the top five U.S. health insurers; the top five U.S. airlines; the top four credit card issuers; three out of the top four accounting and consulting firms; four of the top five U.S., U.K., Australian and South African banks; and four of the top five U.S. retailers. Venafi is backed by top-tier investors, including TCV, Foundation Capital, Intel Capital, QuestMark Partners, Mercato Partners and NextEquity.

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Shelley Boose

[email protected]

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