Archive for the ‘certificates’ Category

OAuth2 JWT Verification Best Practices

Posted on 10/15/2019 , Alexander,

OAuth2 is very rapidly becoming the de-facto standard for securing APIs.
An OAuth2 JWT token is a signed JSON snippet containing fields (claims) that are needed to make a decision about granting access.

It is important to understand the inherent risks of OAuth2/JWT and make sure that the right mechanisms are in place to mitigate them.

A JWT token is similar to an X509 certificate. If a certificate is signed by a CA we trust (and if it is not expired, the signature is valid, etc.), we will trust the TLS client (or our browser will trust the server using this certificate). A JWT token is signed by an authorization server as opposed to a CA, so we have to trust the authorization server in order to authorize the client.
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Self-Signed Certificates Best Practices and How-to Guide

Posted on 08/10/2019 , Alexander,

Self-signed certificates are widely used for testing/development and sometimes in production for internal websites.

Self-signed certificates are created without any CA, thus they don't have a parent. The issuer is also the subject of the certificate.

In general, the use of self-signed certificates must be discouraged as they present an inherent security risk. For example, there is no way to revoke a self-signed cert. Using an internal CA for issuing all internal certificates is a much better option, we will cover it in a future post.

Self-signed certs come at a substantial maintenance cost -- issuing a cert for a long period of time is unsecure, but the short validity adds to the certificate renewal/distribution overhead.

The following best practices will help to make self-signed and internally-issued certificates more secure:
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How to Troubleshoot and Fix Certificate Validation Issues in Java

Posted on 07/25/2019 , Alexander,

Certificate validation errors are a frequent cause of issues when dealing with APIs and Web services calls, especially when self-signed certificates are used.
The error message is usually javax.net.ssl.SSLHandshakeException: PKIX path building failed.

How to Troubleshoot

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Java Keystore Management Best Practices

Posted on 07/23/2019 , Alexander Ananiev,

A keystore file is a database for storing application secrets (private keys), trust certificates and CA chains. Proper keystore/truststore management is extremely important for application security.

We’ve compiled a list of keystore-related best practices in our keystore management document.

Here is a brief summary of the document:
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Certificate Management Best Practices Summary

Posted on 11/25/2018 , Alexander Ananiev,

For more details, please refer to our certificate management document.

Best practices list:

  • Restrict certificate validity to short periods of time
  • Automate certificate renewal/refresh
  • Implement certificate validation/revocation mechanism (OSCP)
  • Do not use self-signed certs
  • Do not use wildcard certs
  • Establish and maintain a complete certificate inventory—you must know where each certificate is deployed, its expiration, etc.
  • Run frequent endpoint/port scans to detect self-signed and other out-of-policy certificates.
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Certificate Management Best Practices Document

Posted on 11/08/2018 , Alexander Ananiev,

We're incorporating more security reporting/compliance features into DPBuddy and we're also working on a new product related to certificate management.

As part of this work, we're attempting to compile and aggregate best practices related to certificates and key management.
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