Web Security: Safeguarding Your Website Against Cybercriminals 

Web Security: Safeguarding Your Website Against Cybercriminals 

Internet security is one of the most crucial requirements for every website online. Sharing ideas, information, and products online aren’t enough. Projecting a secure connection in your website will not only benefit you but also your website visitors. It will extend credibility and trustworthiness which is essential in the digital world where cybercrime is just around the corner. 

What is an OpenSSL?

OpenSSL is created to bodyguard your applications and web servers. It is a command-line tool used to generate private keys, CSRs (Certificate Signing Requests) and all things related to HTTPS. OpenSSL, in the long run, will save you money while securing your website. OpenSSL will run alongside with Linux-based OS and command-line tools. 

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL Certificate is a tiny data file that fuses cryptographic key and organisation information on the digital platform. Installing an SSL certificate on your web server will activate a padlock on the upper left hand of the browser. It extends a “secure connection” projecting https rather than Http where “s” stands for “Secure”.

SSL will ensure your customers that it is safe to input their personal and financial information on your website. It will make sure that as the data is being transferred, it will be encrypted so hackers will not be able to comprehend it. Hence, SSL is your website’s security guard.  

What is CSR (Certificate Signing Request)?

CSR is typically generated for website owners to acquire a credible SSL Certificate from Certificate Authority (CA). CA is a trusted entity that provides digital certificates to websites. CSR contains a public key and other vital data needed for certificate acquisition. This information is merged into the certificate when it is finalised and signed. Upon generating a CSR, the requestee will be prompted to provide DN (Distinguished Name), CN (Common Name), and FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name). 

Generating a Public and Private Key with CSR

After installing, the website will have the ability to generate a public and private key using one command. On the other hand, if you generate a public and private key with CSR, the first step is to run the OpenSSL command. The “req-out” command typically creates the CSR requirement. It will create the CSR and 2048-bit private key name which both you can modify to your own preferred name. 

SSL Certificate and CA-Signed Certificate

After the completion of the groundwork, it is then you can create an SSL Certificate. It is allowed for you to issue your own self-signed certificate signed with your own private. Self-signed certificates can be used to encrypt sensitive data as they travel through your server. However, a self-signed certificate will project danger to your users which will drive them to close your site. Self-signed certificates are only ideal for blog sites but not for online stores or production sites.

CA-Signed Certificates, on the other hand, are highly recommended for sites where users are required to process applications, payments, and other activities that involve personal and financial data. CA-Signed Certificates will project a “secure connection” to your users which will gain their trust and build your credibility.   

Free TLS Certificate and Certbot

There are platforms (such as Let’s Encrypt) that issues signed certificates with 90 days validity. It can be renewed and validated indefinitely as desired. Manual tools such as Certbot are utilised to acquire CA-Signed certificates. It will require you to run an online website and open port 80. Also, it will need your DNS to conform to the application and the appliance must reach TCP 443 and TCP 80. Moreover, it will demand to install Certbot to create a CA-Signed certificate. 

Manual Key Verification

It is always ideal to check your information provided in your CSR upon applying for an SSL certificate and keys. There are commands that can be used to do so.

If you want to verify your CSR and data displayed on your CSR, you can input this command: openssl req -text -noout -verify -in (your DN).csr

As for verifying key validity, you can use: openssl rsa -in (your DN).key -check

These commands will project certificate data such as email address, signature algorithms, serial numbers, and a private key.

Web security is important for every website that promotes products and services online. It will help you gain trustworthiness amongst your customers while protecting your assets stored in your server. In the era of the digital world, online users are becoming more meticulous and cautious about every website they visit. Thus, it is best to secure your website and add that padlock on your browser to flaunt your credibility, stability, and security.  

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