I'm managing what has become a very large intranet (over 100 different hosts / services) and will be stepping down from my role in the near future. I want to make things easy for the next
victim person who takes my place.
All hosts are secured via SSL. This includes various portals, wikis, data entry systems, HR systems and other sensitive things. We're using self signed certificates which worked o.k. in the past, but are now problematic because:
Browsers make it harder for users to understand exactly what is going on when a self signed certificate is encountered, much less accept them.
Putting up a new host means 100 phone calls asking what "Add an exception" means
What we were doing is just importing the self signed certs when we set up a new workstation. This was fine when we only had a dozen to deal with, but now its just overwhelming.
Our I.T. Department has classified this as
ya all's problem, all we get from them is support for switch and router configurations. Beyond the user having connectivity, everything else is up to the intranet administrators.
We have a mix of Ubuntu and Windows workstations. We'd like to set up our own self signed CA root, which can sign certificates for each host that we deploy on the intranet. Client browsers would of course be told to trust our CA.
My question is, would this be dangerous and would we be better off going with intermediate certificates from someone like Verisign? Either way, I still have to import the root for the intermediate CA, so I really don't see what the difference is?
Other than charging us money, what would Verisign be doing that we could not, beyond protecting the root CA cert so it can't be used to make forgeries?