Great Minds Really Do Think Alike!

By Michael Maxey - 3 min read June 6, 2019

Quick. Name something that people won’t argue about. Seriously, name anything. It’s harder than it sounds since most people will take opposing positions on anything. But I found an inarguable topic in the most unlikely of places, deep in the conversations between cyber-security experts. That’s right, the team built to find weaknesses in every plan. The one solving attack vectors and preserving value by keeping information protected.

What do cyber-security experts agree on? The use of authentication and encrypted connections, most commonly implemented as Transport Layer Security (TLS). In this post, we will explore how end-to-end encryption using TLS provides defense-in-depth inside the enterprise.

Greate minds agree on TLS

Why TLS

Experts agree because TLS is fast, easy to use, and works everywhere. It’s the most widely deployed security protocol with integrations into every popular platform and language. This ubiquity delivers a better experience for developers, security professionals, and the operations teams making it all happen.

TLS world map

TLS Inside the enterprise

If TLS is so great why isn’t everyone using it inside the enterprise? A fair question as adoption has, as discussed in my last update, largely been limited to websites and public facing infrastructure. However, if you look closely, TLS adoption is increasing inside the enterprise. It’s showing up in islands of modern cloud-native components. Systems like Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Linkerd & Istio Service Meshes, or even raw AWS VPC cloud perimeters are using certificates and TLS to provide defense-in-depth.

Star  step cli
Star  step certificates

Smallstep believes TLS should be used everywhere[1] and we have built a framework of developer tools to make it easy to deploy on modern software platforms. Our users often begin their TLS journey with the rollout of a new platform. To jumpstart this effort smallstep has created a number of easy integrations into popular projects. If you would like to experiment, we recommend starting with Autocert, smallstep’s one-line kubernetes integration for easy TLS communications. This open-source framework automates certificate delivery and renewal for every container, empowering end-to-end encryption in cloud-native environments. The old adage rings true so give Autocert a try and before long, you too will think like the great minds of our industry.

[1] Want more? Go deep here: Use TLS!


What you have just consumed is the third in an ongoing series of Modern Security for Leaders posts. In each edition, I will break down a complex security concept into a simple to understand format and highlight where it brings true business value.

Leverage Smallstep's technology to unlock the many benefits of using TLS everywhere to connect across clouds and easily access services and applications in the cloud-native age. Subscribe for infrequent updates and announcements.


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