Web Security: What is an SSL Certificate?

What is an SSL Certificate? 

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a standard requirement for maintaining a safe internet environment and protecting important and sensitive data circulating around. Also, it secures your assets from hackers or cybercriminals. SSL involves the security of shared information between a customer and the business’ server. It ensures every sensitive information shared between users and websites, or between two servers are unreadable for hackers. 

SSL uses encryption algorithms to mix information while in transit until it reaches its intended place in the server. SSL protects financial data, names, and addresses inputted online. SSL has an updated version called TLS or Transport Layer Security which is safer than SSL. However, SSL is the terms widely used by developers; thus, it is the standard name no matter what version you download from DigiCert. It comes with ECC, RSA or DSA SSL encryption options.

HTTPS or HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, on the other hand, is the URL that appears to note that the website is secure. The SSL certificate includes security issuance along with the corporate name of the owner. You can view these details by clicking the lock symbol on the upper left hand of the browser bar.  

The Hierarchy of Business Authentication

Domain Validation SSL Certificate

This kind of certificate is a requirement for every business to prove their authority over the domain name. The certificate typically contains the domain name supplied by the issuing authority. Domain validation is the most standard level of certification since the identity of the organisation is not validated. This kind of certification is only adequate for test servers or internal links.

Organisation Validation SSL Certificate

Organisation validation SSL certificate is a requirement to prove that their domain is secure as well as their business. It is to prove that their domain and company is legal and registered. This kind of authentication is mostly used by websites that collect sensitive data from its users. Organisation validation, as the name implies, can only be acquired by an organisation but not available for personal applications.

Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificate

This validation serves as a protection for users from inputting eir personal details to a fake site their personal data on a fake site than can be vital information for hackers to use for phishing. Extended Validation SSL will require both validations mentioned above.

This kind of validation allows the website to show data about the company that can be accessed by users. If the website is EV SSL certified, the browser tab will show a green address bar that projects a sign of trust and safety for users. EV SSL only applies to businesses or organisations but not for personal websites.  

How Does SSL Certificate Work?

Installing an SSL Certificate on your server whilst your browser is connected to it will trigger encryption protocol. It operates with transmission control protocol or TCP that works as a security blanket for both website owners and users. If your SSL certificate works seamlessly, hackers will only be able to pull out or view IP and port connected to the server and a little data sent from user to server. Hackers will not be able to intercept with the operations and if they do so, they can only terminate the connection. However, it will be accentuated that such activity was done by a third party and they can only do so little to nothing with it. Hence, secure connection and protected information are guaranteed.

For more security protocols, some websites would add message authentication codes or MAC that can somehow be done instantaneously with SSL and EV SSL.  

Visual Implications of SSL

The visual influence of SSL has a substantial effect on users. For online stores, potential customers will choose over a trusted website and totally ignore sketchy ones. Having an SSL certificate to back your credibility will extend safety among your customers and potential buyers.

SSL and TLS are the most accepted and authorised web standards in the industry. Hence, displaying your authenticity and security to your website will lead to long-term dependability and credibility. 

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