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As the internet evolves, the techniques for improved website security increase, and so does malicious cyber attackers’ creativity. Moreover, internet security becomes essential as organizations provide more online services and transactions. To keep client information private and secure, businesses and organizations must add SSL certificates to their websites to enable secure online transactions. SSL certificates establish the groundwork for a secure connection by providing a secure connection. To assure visitors that their connection is secure, browsers display unique indications known as EV indicators, ranging from organization name in Certificate Information to Site Seal.
This article lets us understand “What is an SSL certificate,” “How does SSL work/How HTTPS works,” and “What are the various types and benefits of SSL.”
Let’s Dive in
SSL Certificates, also known as Secure Sockets Layer Certificates, are digital security certificates that enable secure communication between a website and its visitors. A trusted and legitimate third-party organization, a Certificate Authority (CA), issues the SSL certificate. Including Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) in the website URL denotes using an SSL Certificate.
SSL Certificates contain information like the certificate owner, expiration dates, serial numbers, etc., allowing browsers to verify the website’s identity and establish a secure connection.
In this section, let’s figure out how an SSL works,
When a browser requires access to an SSL-secured website, the browser and web server establish an SSL connection using a procedure known as an “SSL Handshake” (as shown in the diagram below). It is essential to note that the SSL Handshake is completely transparent to the user and takes place instantaneously.
The Public Key Infrastructure, the mixture of public, private, and session keys, is used to establish an SSL connection. Any message encrypted with the public key must be decrypted with the private key and vice versa. Since encrypting and decrypting using private and public keys requires significant computing power, they are only utilized to generate a symmetric session key during the SSL Handshake. After establishing a secure connection, the session key encrypts all transferred data.
SSL certificates offer a secure connection between the server and the client, ensuring that data is encrypted and secure from hackers and unauthorized access.
It protects against phishing attempts by affirming the authenticity of a website, making it impossible for attackers to establish fraudulent websites and fool users.
Sites with SSL (HTTPS) display a padlock icon and the HTTPS protocol in their web address, giving users confidence that their data is secured and that the site is trustworthy.
Certain businesses, such as healthcare and finance, have regulatory restrictions requiring the usage of SSL certificates to secure sensitive data.
Using an SSL certificate will let you free from MITM attacks, confidential data leakage, Phishing Attacks, damage to reputation, and distrust by web browsers. If your website does not have an SSL certificate loaded, all communications from the web server to the client are not encrypted. Intruders can easily compromise these forms of unprotected and unsecured communications.
SSL certificates provide trust, security, and compliance, making them an essential tool for businesses and organizations that value their online presence and reputation.
It validates the website’s domain name. It is the simplest & quickest to get, requiring minimal personal identifying verification. A DV-secured website displays a locked padlock in the URL bar, HTTPS, and Site Seal.
This SSL/TLS certificate type confirms the organization’s domain name and legal presence. It has greater encryption levels and requires more comprehensive authentication to obtain. The CA validates that the organization is officially and legally allowed to do business.
Most internet users opt for EV SSL certificates because they offer the most thorough verification testing, which includes domain verification and crosschecks that connect the entity to a specific physical address. EV certificates give website users the greatest level of authenticity and confidence. It verifies the domain name, the organization’s legal existence, and the organization’s geographical location.
Please remember that the three types of SSL certificates listed above are not the only ones available. Other types of certificates include:
Wildcard SSL is a special SSL that can safeguard unlimited subdomains under a single domain. It enables the configuration of encryption for an entire domain and its subdomains. Wildcard SSL comes with domain validation and organization validation.
Learn more about What is Wildcard SSL Certificate and how it protects sub-domains.
It allows you to secure multiple domains (up to 250) with one SSL certificate. All the domains secured by a multi-domain SSL share the same CSR details, issuer details, and validity period, which binds them together under one SSL.
Software developers use code signing certificates to ensure the software downloaded or installed is authentic and has not been tampered with.
SSL Certificates/HTTPS function encrypts data transmitted between a website and a user with a public-private keypair, providing a secure communication channel. The SSL also validates the website’s validity and offers various advantages, such as improved SEO ranking and cyber-attack protection.
You may always get an SSL to protect your website connection and customer data, leading to greater revenue and a higher Google ranking.
Approximately 85% of website owners select the incorrect SSL for their online business. Be not one of them.
Without an SSL , your website will show “Not Secure” in the address bar, informing users that your website cannot be trusted, possibly resulting in decreased visitor numbers.
Not implementing an SSL on your website exposes your business and clients to threats such as Data leaks, Man-In-The-Middle, Phishing, etc.
To understand the key difference between free and purchased SSL certificates, you must first become familiar with the phrase “certificate authority.” Non-profit certificate authority issues free SSL: Let’s Encrypt, a renowned non-profit CA, offers free SSL/TLS certificates. They aim to encrypt the whole internet so that HTTPS becomes the standard. Still, they have many drawbacks regarding security, encryption, and privacy. There are significant benefits of using paid SSL certificates over free SSL in terms of SSL Certificate Lifespan, SSL Options, etc.
The steps for getting an SSL are as follows:
The cost of an SSL varies from the number of domains and sub-domains they cover and the type of validation process required to get them.
Top SSL Certificate with Lowest Price
SSL Certificates have a specified expiry date, unlike other services that renew automatically until explicitly canceled. Allowing an SSL Certificate to expire can have serious consequences for the website owner and the end user. When they expire, web browsers will warn their users about your website. The reason SSL certificates expire is to keep your encryption up to date. By requiring you to renew your SSL certificate, you’ll always have the latest TLS versions and ciphers.
HSTS, or HTTP Strict Transport Security, is a security feature that helps prevent websites from being accessed over the insecure HTTP protocol. Once a web browser enables HSTS for a domain, it will automatically convert all HTTP requests to HTTPS for that domain.
Read our blog to disable HSTS in Chrome and Firefox.
SSL offloading is a technique where an intermediary server performs SSL decryption and encryption on behalf of the underlying application server. This allows the application server to handle only unencrypted HTTP traffic.
Benefits of SSL Offloading