Recommendations for Hardening Key Management Systems

To protect a business from faulty security, there are methods for hardening the security, which means identifying excess network use that could be a threat to the business, and monitoring the security patches. An organization with key management systems easily manages all the cryptographic keys within its cryptosystem. 

Key management systems are vulnerable. If proper caution is not taken, hackers can use them to access your network. The system deals with replacing, generating, storing, exchanging, and using keys. These actions are limited to the level of access that a user has in the organization. It also deals with key servers, cryptographic protocol design, and user procedures.

Hardening is a procedure in which your key management systems are secured from any form of attack by covering any susceptibility, doing away with unnecessary services, and installing a system with security controls. These security controls include file permission and password management.

The hardening process requires the key management implementation and design to stipulate the safe configuration requirements needed for the hardening process, and that the system lists all the required hardening activities to ensure that none is left out.

How Do You Harden Key Management Systems?

Remove the Unnecessary Programs and Services

A hacker can easily access your systems through programs. If some programs in your key management system have security holes and backdoors that give hackers easy access to your systems.

You also want to disable all the network services and ports that your system no longer needs to operate since that’s a weak point hackers can get through. Disable removable media and set your system to automatically scan any malware in any removable media plugged in. Doing so will minimize the extent of the attack on your system if there is an attempt.

Improve and Execute Safety Patches

In this digital era, it is impossible to enjoy perfect security. Therefore, be quick in discovering when your systems are vulnerable and move swiftly in obtaining the right security patch and implementing it in your systems. Your business should also have patch management to help your business maintain and improve its important management systems.

Your organization should have safety standards and a policy that specifies how the organization can acquire, test, and use the patches. And to avoid any functional problems that can arise from the patch, restrict the testing to a confined system first.

Implement the Principle of Least Privilege

Control the access to your data and files, application, and delicate system features by giving the users a minimal level of access to your IT managed services. Permit only those whose job description aligns with handling these key management systems.

On the other hand, you should revoke, remove, or disable any user account that is no longer required, or is not fit to handle these systems. This principle is a key factor in coming up with a hardening checklist for the servers. Limiting access to the system will give you more control as you will know who accessed the system and what time.

Manage Passwords

Create a hardening checklist for password management. The list should include password change period, use of complex password, password reuse period, password expiry, minimum password length, and maximum password length. Ensure that the checklist conforms with the password policy of your business. 

During this process, ensure that you replace all the default keys and passwords with randomly generated keys and strong passwords. Doing so will seal all the loopholes in the system and prevent unauthorized persons from accessing the system.

Scrutinize Your Server

You should enable your security logs, application, and system logs in your server and periodically analyze them for any hacking attempts and unauthorized access. 

Authorize Extra Configuration and Security Features

You can forcefully limit other programs and networks from accessing your systems by using additional security features provided by SELinux, such as Mandatory Access Control (MAC). The hardening checklist will help you know how to specify, enable, and configure these extra security features. 


To improve your general security, hardening your key management system improves your overall impermeability, including removing all the unessential programs and services, improving and executing a new security patch, managing your passwords, scrutinizing your server, and authorizing additional configuration and security features. When this process is complete, you can rest assured that your security is being maintained at a stronger level.