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12 Best PKI Software Shortlist

I’ve dug deep into the world of PKI software, evaluating each tool’s ability to tackle your security challenges.

With so many Public Key Infrastructure or PKI software solutions available, figuring out which is right for you can be challenging. You know you want to safeguard the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive information across networks, but you need to find the optimal tool for the job.

Fear not! I'm here to simplify your decision. This post will guide you through the maze, drawing on my experience with various PKI software solutions. I'll share my top picks for the best PKI software tools, making your selection process a breeze.

Why Trust Our PKI Software Reviews

We've been testing and reviewing PKI software since 2023. 

As security experts, we know how critical and challenging it is to make the right decision when selecting software.

We conduct deep research to help our audience make better software purchasing decisions. We've tested over 2,000 tools for different IT use cases and written over 1,000 comprehensive software reviews. 

We provide expert guidance and resources to CTOs and technical leaders at fast-growing SaaS companies to help them win at work.

Learn how we stay transparent & our PKI software review methodology.

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Best PKI Software Summary

Tools Price
ESET PROTECT Complete Pricing upon request
HashiCorp Vault Starts at $0.03 per hour
Ubisecure Certificate Authority From $10/user/month (billed annually)
Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services is included in the Windows Server license. Pricing for Windows Server starts from $972 (billed annually).
KeyTalk From $12/user/month (billed annually)
GlobalSign PKI GlobalSign PKI’s pricing is not publicly disclosed, therefore it is available upon request.
DigiCert PKI Platform DigiCert PKI Platform's pricing is based on a variety of factors and therefore is only available upon request.
PrimeKey EJBCA® Enterprise Pricing upon request
Venafi Venafi operates on a “Pricing upon request” model, requiring potential users to contact them for a quote.
Keycloak Since Keycloak is an open-source tool, it's free of charge. Any costs would come from optional services like support or consulting.
OpenXPKI Free to use
GoDaddy PKI Platform The pricing for GoDaddy PKI Platform starts from $89.99 per year per user, which translates to around $7.50/user/month (billed annually).
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How to Choose PKI Software

With so many different PKI software solutions, deciding the best fit for your needs can be challenging. As you're shortlisting, trialing, and selecting app development software, consider the following:

What problem you are trying to solve - Identify the security challenges you currently face. These could be anything from securing communications to managing digital identities. Knowing your needs will help you pinpoint what you need to look for in a PKI software solution.

Who will need to use it - Consider who will use the PKI software. Is it for an individual IT professional, a small IT team, or a large corporation? The size and expertise of the user base will influence the type of solution you choose. After all, different software offers varying levels of complexity and scalability.

What other tools it needs to work with -  Assess which existing tools and systems the PKI software must work with. This could include networks, existing security platforms, user management systems, and CRM systems. Ensuring compatibility is essential for a smooth and effective deployment.

What outcomes are important - Clearly define what successful implementation looks like. Are you aiming to enhance security, improve compliance, reduce costs, or all three? Setting clear goals will help you focus on finding a PKI software solution that aligns with your organization's objectives.

How it would work within your organization - Analyze how the PKI software fits your current workflows and processes. Consider your existing system's strengths and limitations. Avoid popular solutions if they don't mesh well with your organization's operations.

Considering these aspects, you'll be better equipped to choose a PKI software that meets your security needs and integrates seamlessly into your organization.

Overviews of the 12 Best PKI Software

Best for centralized security management, offering a unified solution for PKI, endpoint protection, and server security

  • 30-day free trial
  • Pricing upon request
Visit Website
Rating: 4.6/5

ESET PROTECT Complete is a cloud-based security solution that provides multilayered endpoint protection for company computers, laptops, and mobile devices. It offers defense against ransomware and zero-day threats through cloud sandboxing technology and full disk encryption capabilities. 

Why I Picked ESET PROTECT Complete:

As a PKI software, ESET PROTECT Complete enables users to import their third-party certification authority to the web console and set a new custom server certificate. This feature allows for custom certificates with ESET PROTECT on-premises, providing greater flexibility and customization options for PKI needs.

Furthermore, ESET PROTECT Complete provides comprehensive security solutions that protect against advanced threats and ensure the integrity of digital certificates and keys. It offers centralized management and monitoring, as well as automated workflows for certificate lifecycle management, like automatic alerts.

Standout Features & Integrations:

ESET PROTECT Complete offers secure storage of private keys, certificate enrollment, notifications for expiring certificates, and compliance reporting to help organizations effectively manage their PKI infrastructure and ensure the security of their digital assets.

Integrations include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Kubernetes, Docker, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Windows Defender Antivirus, Microsoft Windows Security, Microsoft Active Directory, and Jira.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Automated alerts for expiring certificates
  • Easy to use remote management
  • Wide variety of detailed reports

Cons:

  • Slight learning curve for new users
  • UI can be complex

Best for automated security management, safeguarding sensitive data with ease

  • Starts at $0.03 per hour
Visit Website
Rating: 4.3/5

HashiCorp Vault takes charge of your digital security, providing a comprehensive suite for identity-based access and safeguarding sensitive data across various systems. The tool impressively automates the management of secrets, encryption keys, and certificates.

Why I Picked HashiCorp Vault:

I chose HashiCorp Vault due to its commitment to security automation. In the dynamic landscape of digital security, Vault excels at streamlining the process and reducing manual oversight. The tool's remarkable focus on automation provides a formidable shield for sensitive data.

Hence, I believe HashiCorp Vault truly stands out as the best choice for businesses needing to handle automated security management.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Vault’s dynamic secrets feature reduces the risk of unwanted data exposure by creating secrets on demand that get revoked after use. Its encryption as a service module allows users to encrypt data without dealing with the complexities of key management.

As for integrations, Vault plugs into your existing infrastructure seamlessly. It works well with popular platforms like AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure, providing extensive coverage.

Pricing:

Pricing upon request

Pros:

Robust and flexible key and secrets management

Wide array of integrations for versatile deployment

Dynamic secrets ensure maximum data safety

Cons:

Steep learning curve for new users

Detailed documentation may be overwhelming

Pricing structure is not transparently listed

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Dynamic secrets ensure maximum data safety
  • Wide array of integrations for versatile deployment
  • Robust and flexible key and secrets management

Cons:

  • Pricing structure is not transparently listed
  • Detailed documentation may be overwhelming
  • Steep learning curve for new users

Best for digital identity management, providing robust identity proofing and lifecycle management

  • From $10/user/month (billed annually)

Ubisecure Certificate Authority is a cutting-edge tool that goes beyond the traditional role of a PKI solution. Not only does it manage digital certificates, but it also shines in its comprehensive approach to identity lifecycle management.

Why I Picked Ubisecure Certificate Authority:

I was drawn to Ubisecure for its robust and comprehensive feature set, particularly around digital identity management. Unlike other tools on this list, Ubisecure presents a broader approach, ensuring all aspects of the digital identity lifecycle are catered to. This makes it stand out, leading me to designate it as the best for digital identity management.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Ubisecure Certificate Authority stands out with its identity-proofing capabilities, identity lifecycle management, and multi-factor authentication support. This tool seamlessly integrates with existing IT environments and supports numerous protocols such as SAML, OAuth, and OpenID Connect, extending its reach and applicability.

Pricing:

From $10/user/month (billed annually)

Pros:

Comprehensive approach to identity management

Robust integration capabilities

Strong support for multi-factor authentication

Cons:

Pricing might be steep for small businesses

The user interface may be complex for beginners

Limited third-party reviews available for the software

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Strong support for multi-factor authentication
  • Robust integration capabilities
  • Comprehensive approach to identity management

Cons:

  • Limited third-party reviews available for the software
  • The user interface may be complex for beginners
  • Pricing might be steep for small businesses

Best for Windows-centric environments, providing a fully integrated PKI solution within the Microsoft ecosystem

  • Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services is included in the Windows Server license. Pricing for Windows Server starts from $972 (billed annually).

Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) is a role in Windows Server that allows the creation of a fully functional public key infrastructure (PKI). Being tightly integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem, it becomes the go-to PKI solution for Windows-centric environments.

Why I Picked Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS):

In the process of selecting PKI tools, AD CS caught my attention due to its seamless integration within the Microsoft ecosystem. This integration, I believe, positions it as the best choice for Windows-centric environments, where it can provide a streamlined and native PKI solution.

Standout Features & Integrations:

AD CS features include the ability to customize certificate contents and extensions, and it supports automated certificate issuance through templates. Its biggest strength is its integration with Microsoft Active Directory, allowing for simple deployment and management of certificates within a Windows environment.

Pricing:

Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services is included in the Windows Server license. Pricing for Windows Server starts from $972 (billed annually).

Pros:

Seamless integration within the Microsoft ecosystem

Customizable certificate contents and extensions

Automated certificate issuance through templates

Cons:

Limited to Windows environments

Can be complex to set up without a good understanding of PKI principles

Requires a Windows Server license, which can be pricey for smaller organizations

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Automated certificate issuance through templates
  • Customizable certificate contents and extensions
  • Seamless integration within the Microsoft ecosystem

Cons:

  • Requires a Windows Server license, which can be pricey for smaller organizations
  • Can be complex to set up without a good understanding of PKI principles
  • Limited to Windows environments

Best for scalable security, ensuring powerful encryption across countless devices

  • From $12/user/month (billed annually)

KeyTalk serves as an effective PKI solution designed to secure and automate the management of your digital certificates across multiple devices. KeyTalk's strength lies in its scalability, making it ideal for organizations dealing with a large number of devices, hence being the best for scalable security.

Why I Picked KeyTalk:

I chose KeyTalk because of its impressive ability to scale and manage certificate lifecycles across countless devices, setting it apart from other PKI solutions on the list. In terms of securing numerous devices, I believe KeyTalk comes out on top, hence I deem it the best for scalable security.

Standout Features & Integrations:

KeyTalk's foremost features include automatic certificate renewal, revocation, and installation across various devices. It also excels in supporting different certificate types like SSL/TLS, code signing, and user certificates. Notably, KeyTalk integrates with a broad range of server systems, software applications, and network components, amplifying its usability across diverse IT infrastructures.

Pricing:

From $12/user/month (billed annually)

Pros:

Exceptional scalability for device management

Broad range of certificate support

Extensive system and application integrations

Cons:

Could be overkill for smaller businesses

Interface might be challenging for novice users

Premium price point may not fit all budgets

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Extensive system and application integrations
  • Broad range of certificate support
  • Exceptional scalability for device management

Cons:

  • Premium price point may not fit all budgets
  • Interface might be challenging for novice users
  • Could be overkill for smaller businesses

Best for enterprise-level protection, featuring high volume issuance and automated enrollment

  • GlobalSign PKI’s pricing is not publicly disclosed, therefore it is available upon request.

GlobalSign PKI is a platform designed to secure organizations' digital identities at scale. It excels in issuing large volumes of certificates and automated enrollment, making it a top choice for businesses seeking robust, enterprise-level protection.

Why I Picked GlobalSign PKI:

When selecting tools for this list, I evaluated each based on their distinctive qualities. GlobalSign PKI emerged due to its capacity to handle high-volume issuance and automated enrollment, which are critical in enterprise-level protection. This robust capability justifies why I believe it is the best for businesses that require extensive protection.

Standout Features & Integrations:

GlobalSign PKI has a robust set of features, including certificate lifecycle management, automated enrollment, and support for multiple certificate types. It offers integrations with Microsoft Active Directory and other IT infrastructure systems, ensuring wide coverage of protection across different organizational applications.

Pricing:

GlobalSign PKI’s pricing is not publicly disclosed, therefore it is available upon request.

Pros:

Provides extensive enterprise-level protection

Handles high-volume certificate issuance efficiently

Offers automated enrollment for ease of use

Cons:

Lack of transparent pricing can be challenging for potential users

Some customers have reported slow customer service response times

The platform may have a steep learning curve for those new to PKI solutions

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Offers automated enrollment for ease of use
  • Handles high-volume certificate issuance efficiently
  • Provides extensive enterprise-level protection

Cons:

  • The platform may have a steep learning curve for those new to PKI solutions
  • Some customers have reported slow customer service response times
  • Lack of transparent pricing can be challenging for potential users

Best for lifecycle management, streamlining certificate issuance and renewal

  • DigiCert PKI Platform's pricing is based on a variety of factors and therefore is only available upon request.

DigiCert PKI Platform provides scalable and reliable high-assurance certificate solutions. It shines in lifecycle management by simplifying and automating the processes of issuing, renewing, and managing digital certificates, making it the best choice for these tasks.

Why I Picked DigiCert PKI Platform:

I chose the DigiCert PKI Platform due to its comprehensive approach to certificate lifecycle management, which makes it stand out among other tools. Its automation of intricate certificate-related processes supports why it's the best for lifecycle management, ensuring certificate operations remain efficient and streamlined.

Standout Features & Integrations:

The platform's notable features include automated certificate issuance and renewal, intuitive UI for easy management, and robust APIs for integration. DigiCert PKI Platform also offers key integrations with widely used systems like Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft Autoenrollment, and other IT infrastructure components, extending its certificate lifecycle management capabilities into these environments.

Pricing:

DigiCert PKI Platform's pricing is based on a variety of factors and therefore is only available upon request.

Pros:

Streamlines certificate issuance and renewal processes

Robust APIs enable integration with various systems

Offers a user-friendly management interface

Cons:

Pricing structure can be complex and is not directly available

Some users may find the platform’s extensive features overwhelming

Setup and configuration can be time-consuming

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Offers a user-friendly management interface
  • Robust APIs enable integration with various systems
  • Streamlines certificate issuance and renewal processes

Cons:

  • Setup and configuration can be time-consuming
  • Some users may find the platform’s extensive features overwhelming
  • Pricing structure can be complex and is not directly available

Best for flexible deployment, offering customization to suit diverse needs

  • Pricing upon request

PrimeKey EJBCA® Enterprise serves as a robust Certificate Authority, ensuring secure and flexible management of digital identities. The software is tailored to meet the needs of organizations of all scales, providing a range of customizable options to match the complexity of varying IT environments.

Why I Picked PrimeKey EJBCA® Enterprise:

I selected PrimeKey EJBCA® Enterprise for its adaptability. In a tech landscape teeming with varying needs and use cases, this PKI solution's customizable nature offers a clear advantage. Its ability to mold itself to the unique requirements of an organization makes it the best for those seeking a flexible deployment option.

Standout Features & Integrations:

PrimeKey EJBCA® Enterprise shines with its powerful certificate management system and adaptable workflows. It supports multiple Certificate Authority (CA) hierarchies and a wide array of certificate profiles. On the integration front, it syncs well with HSMs from vendors like Thales and Utimaco, and it offers a REST API for seamless integration with existing IT infrastructure.

Pricing:

Pricing upon request

Pros:

Versatile and customizable to suit unique requirements

Comprehensive certificate and workflow management

Robust integration options, including REST API

Cons:

Can be complex for novice users

Support might be required for initial setup

Transparent pricing information is not available

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Robust integration options, including REST API
  • Comprehensive certificate and workflow management
  • Versatile and customizable to suit unique requirements

Cons:

  • Transparent pricing information is not available
  • Support might be required for initial setup
  • Can be complex for novice users

Best for automation, offering zero-touch issuance and renewal of certificates

  • Venafi operates on a “Pricing upon request” model, requiring potential users to contact them for a quote.

Venafi is a distinguished PKI platform that centralizes and automates the lifecycle of digital certificates. Because of its automation features, particularly zero-touch issuance, and renewal of certificates, Venafi is best suited for those who seek streamlined certificate management.

Why I Picked Venafi:

When I was determining which PKI platform to include on this list, Venafi stood out due to its advanced automation capabilities. Its feature of zero-touch issuance and renewal of certificates distinguishes it from the crowd, leading to my decision that it is best for automation.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Venafi stands out with its advanced automation for the lifecycle of certificates, including issuance, renewal, and revocation. In addition to this, it integrates with leading IT systems like cloud providers, DevOps tools, and more, making it a highly adaptable platform.

Pricing:

Venafi operates on a “Pricing upon request” model, requiring potential users to contact them for a quote.

Pros:

Advanced automation of certificate lifecycle

Integrates with leading IT systems

Provides visibility into all machine identities and their associated risks

Cons:

Pricing is not transparent and requires a custom quote

Can be complex to set up and manage without adequate training

Customer support may be slow during off-peak hours

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Provides visibility into all machine identities and their associated risks
  • Integrates with leading IT systems
  • Advanced automation of certificate lifecycle

Cons:

  • Customer support may be slow during off-peak hours
  • Can be complex to set up and manage without adequate training
  • Pricing is not transparent and requires a custom quote

Best for seamless integration, offering out-of-the-box support for multiple protocols

  • Since Keycloak is an open-source tool, it's free of charge. Any costs would come from optional services like support or consulting.

Keycloak is an open-source Identity and Access Management solution that can authenticate users with existing LDAP or Active Directory credentials. Its edge lies in providing out-of-the-box support for multiple protocols, which supports seamless integration and makes it the best choice for this specific need.

Why I Picked Keycloak:

Keycloak earned its place on this list for its strong integrative capabilities, particularly its native support for multiple protocols. I selected it as the best for seamless integration as it ensures a simplified and efficient setup across diverse systems, which sets it apart in the marketplace.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Keycloak excels with features like Single-Sign-On (SSO), identity brokering, and its built-in support for multiple protocols such as OpenID Connect, SAML 2.0, and LDAP. Keycloak can also integrate smoothly with various applications and services, including microservices, monoliths, and cloud services, making it versatile for many infrastructural setups.

Pricing:

Since Keycloak is an open-source tool, it's free of charge. Any costs would come from optional services like support or consulting.

Pros:

Support for multiple protocols enables seamless integration

Strong feature set including SSO and identity brokering

Versatile integration with various types of applications and services

Cons:

May require technical expertise for setup and management

Support is reliant on community or paid services

Updates and new features are dependent on the open-source community

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Versatile integration with various types of applications and services
  • Strong feature set including SSO and identity brokering
  • Support for multiple protocols enables seamless integration

Cons:

  • Updates and new features are dependent on the open-source community
  • Support is reliant on community or paid services
  • May require technical expertise for setup and management

Best open-source solution, enabling tailor-made security architecture at zero cost

  • Free to use

OpenXPKI is a powerful open-source PKI solution designed for flexibility and security. The tool brings to the table a scalable and enterprise-ready architecture that allows you to mold a security solution that aligns with your unique needs.

Why I Picked OpenXPKI:

OpenXPKI caught my attention for its open-source nature. This factor not only makes it a cost-effective option but also enables extensive customization and scalability. It's the diversity in design and adaptability that sets OpenXPKI apart, earning it the title of the best open-source solution for tailoring security architecture.

Standout Features & Integrations:

OpenXPKI offers a feature-rich environment with customizable workflows, support for multiple CA hierarchies, and sophisticated token handling. The tool also provides an extensive API for integration and automation, and it plays well with a range of databases including MySQL, Oracle, and PostgreSQL.

Pricing:

Free to use

Pros:

Open-source and free to use

Extensive customization and scalability options

Solid API for integrations and automation

Cons:

The learning curve may be steep for beginners

Requires more setup compared to commercial PKI solutions

Absence of dedicated customer support

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Solid API for integrations and automation
  • Extensive customization and scalability options
  • Open-source and free to use

Cons:

  • Absence of dedicated customer support
  • Requires more setup compared to commercial PKI solutions
  • The learning curve may be steep for beginners

Best for reliability, backed by a globally recognized and trusted brand

  • The pricing for GoDaddy PKI Platform starts from $89.99 per year per user, which translates to around $7.50/user/month (billed annually).

GoDaddy PKI Platform is a comprehensive security solution that helps organizations manage digital certificates for their systems and services. GoDaddy, as a globally recognized brand, ensures that its PKI platform is backed by a level of trust and reliability that's hard to beat.

Why I Picked GoDaddy PKI Platform:

In choosing tools for this list, GoDaddy PKI Platform stood out for its association with a highly trusted brand in the domain and hosting industry. Its global recognition provides a level of reliability, which was the deciding factor in determining it as the best for reliability among the lot.

Standout Features & Integrations:

GoDaddy PKI Platform comes with robust features, including management of SSL/TLS certificates and multiple domain support. Its integrations are noteworthy too, featuring support for various servers and systems like Apache, Microsoft servers, and more.

Pricing:

The pricing for GoDaddy PKI Platform starts from $89.99 per year per user, which translates to around $7.50/user/month (billed annually).

Pros:

Backed by a globally recognized and trusted brand

Supports the management of multiple domain certificates

Good integration with various servers and systems

Cons:

The pricing structure may be complicated for some

Support services have received mixed reviews

Some advanced features may only be available at higher pricing tiers

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good integration with various servers and systems
  • Supports the management of multiple domain certificates
  • Backed by a globally recognized and trusted brand

Cons:

  • Some advanced features may only be available at higher pricing tiers
  • Support services have received mixed reviews
  • The pricing structure may be complicated for some

If you still haven't found what you're looking for here, check out these tools closely related to PKI software that we've tested and evaluated.

Selection Criteria for PKI Software

Choosing the appropriate PKI software is vital for any organization's security. My approach focuses on functionality and specific use cases. I also give actionable advice for meeting security requirements.

As someone who has tested and researched various PKI solutions, I developed specific criteria that address your needs and pain points:

  • Core PKI Software Functionality: 25% of total weighting score 

Standard features for data exchange platforms can include robust encryption, key management, certificate lifecycle management, multi-factor authentication, automated renewals, scalability, audit and reporting tools, compliance with standards, a user-friendly interface, and disaster recovery.

The solution has to fulfill everyday use cases to be on my list of the best PKI platforms. These include:

  • Authenticating identities for device and user access
  • Ensuring data integrity in transactions
  • Providing encryption for stored data
  • Enabling secure remote access
  • Securing email communications
  • Additional Standout Features: 25% of total weighting score
  • Identifying platforms that offer advanced analytics for security monitoring
    • Assessing capabilities for integrating with emerging technologies like IoT
    • Evaluating support for new cryptographic algorithms
    • Looking for identity verification methods such as biometric integration
    • Testing the effectiveness of automated security updates and patch management
  • Usability: 10% of the total weighting score
  • Prioritizing intuitive design that simplifies processes
    • Valuing straightforward, logical navigation that enhances your workflow
    • Seeking a responsive design that works well on multiple devices
    • Assessing the availability of customizable dashboards and controls
  • Onboarding: 10% of total weighting score
  • Evaluating the availability of training materials such as videos and manuals
    • Checking for product tours that help new users familiarize themselves
    • Ensuring there are accessible setup guides and configuration templates
    • Considering the presence of proactive customer onboarding support channels
  • Customer Support: 10% of total weighting score
  • Comparing response times to customer inquiries
    • Looking for 24/7 support availability for critical issues
    • Assessing the depth of knowledge and helpfulness of the support team
    • Evaluating the range of support channels available, like email, phone, and live chat
  • Value For Money: 10% of total weighting score
  • Analyzing pricing models to ensure they align with the features offered
    • Considering cost-effectiveness for different sizes of deployments
    • Comparing subscription flexibility and the availability of free trials
    • Assessing the long-term cost benefits related to security enhancements
  • Customer Reviews: 10% of total weighting score
  • Focusing on feedback about reliability and uptime
    • Weighing user opinions on ease of use and performance
    • Considering how often users recommend the platform to others
    • Evaluating sentiments around the platform's ability to meet advertised capabilities

I created this framework to address your users' security and operational requirements. I aim to provide the information and insights to help you make informed decisions when you purchase PKI software. I am dedicated to helping you throughout the decision-making process and ensuring optimal results for your organization.

As we move through 2024, PKI software continues to evolve. I can identify clear trends by reading PKI tools' recent product updates, press releases, and release logs. These trends show how functionalities evolve to address critical security needs, new technology, and adjusting priorities.

Here's what I've observed:

Evolving Features

  • Integration with Advanced Cryptographic Techniques: There is a shift towards using more advanced cryptography, such as post-quantum methods. The anticipation of quantum computing becoming more mainstream drives this trend as it could break encryption methods. This integration ensures long-term resilience against future threats.
  • Enhanced Automation Capabilities: Automation in certificate management, such as auto-enrollment, auto-renewal, and auto-revocation, is becoming more popular. This trend reduces administration and minimizes human error. It also addresses the challenge of managing large volumes of certificates.

Novel and Unusual Functionalities

  • Blockchain Integration for Certificate Transparency and Revocation: Some PKI software uses blockchain technology to make issuing and revoking digital certificates more transparent and secure. This approach is practical, as blockchain technology keeps data safe and transparent.

Most In-Demand Features

  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Enhancements: As threats become more sophisticated, the demand for robust MFA in PKI solutions is rising. Improvements in this area focus on adding biometric verification and behavioral analytics. These changes will strengthen authentication and make it more user-friendly.
  • Scalability for IoT and Edge Devices: With the rising adoption of IoT (Internet of Things) devices, the need for PKI software to securely manage many connections has become paramount. This scalability is vital for organizations looking to expand their IoT implementations.

Decreasing in Importance

  • Traditional Hardware Security Modules (HSMs): This technology is becoming less important as more flexible, cloud-based options for managing keys are available. These cloud services are often cheaper and can handle more data as well.

Keeping up with these trends ensures your organization is ready to face current and future security challenges. Each trend addresses a specific security need and improves business resilience and trust.

What Is PKI Software?

PKI software manages digital certificates and public-key encryption to secure data and communications. It confirms the identities of people and devices and ensures that data shared over the Internet is safe and comes from a trusted source.

PKI software usually includes a Certificate Authority (CA) that creates and manages digital certificates. It also consists of a Registration Authority (RA) that checks whether certificate requests are valid and directories to store these certificates. Additionally, PKI software uses cryptographic keys to encrypt communications and digital signatures. Government bodies, hospitals, banks, and corporations are the primary users of PKI software.

Features of PKI Software

When choosing PKI software, it's crucial to consider its features, as these determine how it will protect and manage digital communications and data. The right features ensure that information remains secure and private, primarily when transmitted over public networks like the Internet. 

Here are the top features to look for:

1. Robust Encryption: Provides strong encryption methods for data in transit and at rest. This feature scrambles data, making it unreadable without the correct decryption key.

2. Certificate Lifecycle Management: Manages the entire lifecycle of digital certificates, from issuance to expiration. It helps prevent security breaches by ensuring outdated or compromised certificates don't remain in use.

3. Multi-Factor Authentication: Supports extra security layers for accessing the system, such as OTPs or biometric verification. It reduces the risk of unauthorized access by requiring more than just a password.

4. Key Management: Offers secure generation, storage, and destruction of cryptographic keys. Proper key management ensures that keys are protected against unauthorized access and loss. 

5. Automated Renewals: This feature ensures that certificates are always current and valid. It reduces the risk of accidental expiries that could lead to data exposure.

6. Scalability: Can expand to accommodate growth in users and data. Your organization needs a PKI solution that can scale without compromising security or performance as it grows.

7. Audit and Reporting Tools: Provides comprehensive logging capabilities. This feature is essential for monitoring the use of certificates and keys. It helps to identify and respond quickly to potential security issues.

8. Compatibility with Standards: Complies with industry protocols. Compliance ensures the PKI software will work within the broader security ecosystem and meet regulatory requirements.

9. User-Friendly Interface: Features an intuitive user interface. This makes it easier for administrators to manage certificates and keys and reduces the likelihood of human error.

10. Disaster Recovery

This feature includes features for data backup and system recovery. It restores your PKI capabilities to maintain security and business continuity during a system failure or cyberattack.

Choosing the right PKI software is a pivotal decision. These features ensure your organization's communications and data remain secure, even when transmitted across vulnerable networks. With the right PKI software, you can safeguard sensitive information and maintain trust with all parties.

Benefits of PKI Software

PKI software significantly boosts digital security for individuals and organizations. It effectively manages digital certificates and encryption keys to ensure data remains secure and private.

Here are five primary benefits of PKI software that you should consider:

1. Enhanced Data Security: PKI software provides robust encryption for data at rest and in transit. This prevents unauthorized access and ensures that sensitive information remains confidential.

2. Efficient Identity and Access Management: PKI software enables secure identity verification using digital certificates. Only authorized users and devices can access specific networks, applications, and data.

3. Improved Compliance with Regulations: PKI software helps your organization meet data security and privacy regulatory compliance requirements. By managing encryption and digital signatures, PKI ensures you adhere to GDPR, HIPAA, and other standards.

4. Scalability and Flexibility: PKI software can scale to support a growing number of users, devices, and applications. This flexibility allows businesses to expand without compromising security protocols.

5. Trust and Reliability in Transactions: Digital signatures enabled by PKI software provide authenticity and integrity to electronic transactions. This builds trust and ensures that data is not tampered with during transmission.

PKI software safeguards digital assets and guarantees secure communications. Adopting PKI boosts security while enhancing operational efficiency and reliability.

Costs & Pricing For PKI Software

PKI software offers different plan options tailored to varying security needs and budgets. Each plan provides features to help your organization manage digital certificates and encryption. Understanding each plan's price and features can help you choose the best one for your needs. This is true whether you have a small team or a large enterprise.

Plan Comparison Table for PKI Software

Plan TypeAverage PriceCommon Features
Free$0Basic encryption, simple certificate management
Standard$50/monthMulti-factor authentication, automated certificate renewals, basic support
Premium$150/monthAdvanced encryption methods, key management, detailed auditing, and reporting
EnterpriseCustom pricingFull feature set, scalability, integration with legacy systems, dedicated support

When selecting a plan, you should assess the level of security required, the size of your team, and the importance of dedicated support. This process will help you choose a plan that aligns with your operational needs and budget.

People Also Ask

What are the benefits of using PKI software?

Using PKI software brings numerous advantages:

  1. It enhances security by using cryptographic techniques for data encryption and digital signature creation and verification.
  2. PKI tools streamline certificate lifecycle management, ensuring timely issuance, renewal, and revocation.
  3. The software provides automation, minimizing the risk of manual errors and saving time.
  4. It aids in compliance with regulatory and industry standards by ensuring the secure transmission of sensitive information.
  5. PKI software often has robust reporting and analytics features, helping organizations monitor and optimize their PKI setup.

How much does PKI software cost?

The cost of PKI software varies widely depending on its features, scale, and vendor. Pricing models also differ, with some vendors offering a flat fee for unlimited usage while others charge on a per-certificate or per-user basis.

What are the pricing models for PKI software?

Common pricing models for PKI software include:

  • Per user or per certificate: Pricing depends on the number of users or certificates.
  • Flat rate: A single fee for unlimited usage.
  • Subscription: Annual or monthly subscription fees, sometimes based on service tiers.

What is the typical range of pricing for PKI software?

Pricing for PKI software can start at $50 per month for smaller solutions and go up to several thousand dollars per year for enterprise-grade software. Some vendors provide custom pricing based on the organization's specific needs.

Which is the cheapest PKI software?

FreeIPA is among the cheapest PKI solutions as it is open-source and free.

Which is the most expensive PKI software?

Tools like RSA Certificate Manager and Venafi, which cater to large enterprises with extensive needs, can be on the higher end of the pricing scale.

Are there any free PKI software options?

Free options, such as FreeIPA, Dogtag Certificate System, OpenSSL, and OpenCA PKI, are available. These are typically open-source solutions that might require more technical expertise to set up and manage.

Are PKI software tools difficult to use?

The difficulty level can vary depending on the tool. Some PKI software has a steep learning curve due to its extensive features and capabilities. However, most modern PKI tools prioritize user experience, offering intuitive interfaces and comprehensive support to aid user onboarding and ongoing use.

Other PKI Software

Below is a list of additional PKI software that I shortlisted, but did not make it to the top 12. Definitely worth checking them out.

  1. EJBCA (Enterprise JavaBeans Certificate Authority)

    Best for interoperability, supporting all major protocols and hardware

  2. LicenceOne

    Best for cutting SaaS costs

  3. keyfactor Command

    Best formanaging large-scale, complex certificate infrastructures

  4. OpenCA PKI

    Best foracademic and research environments with a need for a flexible PKI infrastructure

  5. OpenSSL

    Best fordevelopers needing a robust, versatile cryptography library

  6. Dogtag Certificate System

    Best fororganizations seeking open-source PKI solutions

  7. RSA Certificate Manager

    Best forenterprise-grade lifecycle management of digital certificates

  8. Sectona

    Best forbusinesses looking for privileged access security solutions

  9. FreeIPA

    Best foridentity management in Linux/Unix environments

  10. GnuPG

    Best forthose requiring free encryption software compliant with OpenPGP standards

  11. SafeNet Trusted Access

    Best fororganizations in need of intelligent access management and multifactor authentication solutions

  12. SecureW2

    Best fornetworks requiring strong Wi-Fi security and onboarding solutions

  13. GlobalSign IoT Identity Platform

    Best forIoT device manufacturers needing scalable identity management solutions

Summary

This article has covered a variety of PKI software solutions, each with unique strengths and considerations. Whether you need a tool for a Windows-centric environment, a solution with comprehensive interoperability, or impressive automation capabilities, PKI software fits your requirements.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understand your needs: The best PKI software for you depends on your specific needs. Are you looking for a tool that integrates seamlessly with your existing infrastructure? Do you require extensive protocol support or a solution with solid automation features? Understanding your use case is the first step toward making an informed choice.
  2. Consider Usability: PKI software varies widely in complexity, and choosing a solution that matches your team's technical skills is crucial. Software with intuitive interfaces and robust support can make managing your PKI much smoother.
  3. Pay attention to Pricing: The cost of PKI software can range from free, open-source solutions to premium, enterprise-grade options. Make sure to understand the pricing model (per user, flat rate, subscription) and consider the long-term value and return on investment when making your decision.

What Do You Think?

While this list aims to cover a range of excellent PKI software, there are undoubtedly other effective tools. If you're using a solution that you find valuable and it's not mentioned here, I would love to hear from you. Please share your suggestions and experiences in the comments below; perhaps your preferred tool could be featured in an updated list.

By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.