32 Million Brits Lose Data When O2 Services Fail Due To a Certificate Expiry

Why You Need Psyphr

It’s hard to have missed the drama and coverage of the O2 outage over the last few days. As widely reported, the root cause, although still being determined, was mainly due to the expiry of a certificate within a version of Ericsson software used within their network. As you’d expect, O2 were only one of a number of countries and providers affected by the same issue. Luckily for  customers a fix is in process, reverting to a previous version of software. It’s understood that the affected software version was being decommissioned, however, this hasn’t stopped the issue taking these providers by surprise and having a critical impact to their service, and most likely their brand and customer trust.

The O2 outage, is a high profile and unfortunate example of what can happen if a company does not have a robust and proactive approach to their certificate management. It also highlights the breadth of the challenge. It’s not only your own software, systems and devices that you have to manage, you also need to ensure a solid framework is in place to perform the activity across the complete supply chain.

This isn’t a post about vendor assessment, and due diligence, rather, it’s about highlighting the fact that the same risk exists within your own software and systems and how you can take charge to reduce and manage that risk.

The magnitude of a risk is usually quantified with a simple calculation of impact x likelihood. What’s considered a high or low risk will is unique to you and will depend very much on how critical the impacted assets are to your business, that is, what you value most. Due to fact that certificates nowadays are used just about everywhere and in everything, it’s highly likely that you’ll have at least a number of in-house or third party systems or products critical to your business that would be affected.

Psyphr’s certificate platform provides a comprehensive way to proactively manage and monitor the whole certificate life cycle for your own products and systems.

  • Zero-touch and automated issuance and renewal of client certificates lowers admin overhead, reduces cost, saves time and maintains confidence.
  • Northbound and southbound API’s provide our customers with the ability to detect and respond to certificate based events immediately.
  • Our accounting, reporting and integration capabilities provides you with a real time, transparent view of your certificate estate.
  • Our platform has been architected from the ground up to cater for a wide range of complex and distributed applications.
  • We believe in the importance of supporting modern protocols and crypto primitives, such as ACME and Curve25519.
  • We support multi-tenancy, rapid deployment, full-automation and substantial service customisation.

Psyphr has been designed not only to provide the convenience of a traditional in-house CA, but also to work as a software integration as part of a service oriented architecture. We’re developer and devOps friendly and can be customised to fit your specific requirements.

Get in touch at [email protected] to find out more about our platform and capability. We can help you take charge and not fall victim to a catastrophic incident from something as simple as an expired certificate.

Steve Cochrane Founder – CTO