What is SSL Certificate Monitoring? Explained

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SSL Certificate Monitoring

In today’s digital world, data security is essential. Since SSL certificates are a necessary component of guaranteeing secure online transactions, monitoring them via SSL certificate monitoring is critical. However, what specifically is SSL certificate monitoring, and what makes it crucial for IT?

The core focus of this article will be SSL certificate monitoring, along with its advantages and significance.

What do SSL Certificates Mean?

A digital certificate known as an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate verifies the legitimacy of a website and permits an encrypted connection. It provides two primary tasks: Authenticating the website’s owner and creating a secure connection between the browser and the server.

When a connection is made to the server, the browser will attempt to request the required information. However, for the browser to know if the source is secure, the server must supply an SSL certificate before initiating the connection. If the data source is insecure, it will thwart communication with the website server.

Users will be informed by the web browser that your website does not have a valid certificate, and an error notice will appear. Customers may have less faith in your website if certificate authorities (CAs), like Certera and Comodo, charge for SSL certificates. Multiple certificate kinds are offered by these CAs for particular length ranges.

For instance, you can use a Wildcard SSL certificate to secure several subdomains simultaneously. You can secure your website from cyberattacks by installing these certificates.

For increased security, companies are now concentrating on obtaining SSL certificates. However, monitoring SSL certificates becomes difficult for the majority of companies.

Comprehending an SSL Certificate

Primarily, SSL Certificate Monitoring tracks the period remaining on the secure sockets layer certificate and its expiration date. It will make it simple for you to monitor and manage your SSL expirations automatically.

Tracking, maintaining, and adapting certificates to provide ongoing website protection is known as SSL certificate monitoring. Most organizations have several domains and sub-domains. Thus, maintain these certificates, monitor renewal data, and ensure configurations adhere to system specifications.

Setting up immediate notifications for system behavior and any changes that can create issues is part of SSL certificate monitoring. Organizations may also monitor if a certificate is misconfigured or due for renewal because of alerts. Additionally, keeping track of all of your SSL certificates requires this.

Why does your Website Require an SSL Certificate?

Your consumers’ confidence will increase, and you will authenticate yourself with an SSL certificate. It also satisfies a PCI/DSS standard, which lets you handle sensitive data and accept payments online. Secure certificates are essential for SEO since search engines favor website content with SSL.

Monitoring your SSL certificates is essential to enhancing the security of your apps and websites. It enables you to secure your data from hackers and ensure all your certificates are current. You can keep track of every certificate that has to be renewed and make sure none of them are expired. This is crucial to ensure consumers continue to have faith in your brand.

Consumers need to be more picky about the brands they deal with. Thus, it might hurt conversions if your business doesn’t offer data security. Therefore, you need to ensure that consumer data is secure, and SSL certificates can assist with this.

In 2018, Google took a further step by declaring that they would begin to identify websites that lacked a current SSL/TLS certificate. Put another way, you must use valid SSL certificates.

Additionally, since SSL certificates have expiration dates, you must keep an eye on them shortly to ensure you don’t end up with an expired or invalid SSL certificate, get penalized by Google, and lose your client’s trust and business.

Several Reasons Why Monitoring SSL Certificates Becomes Essential

Minimizing Downtime:

If you don’t have SSL certificate monitoring, you risk your certificate expiring unexpectedly, which might leave your website unavailable and cause significant downtime.

Keeping Visitors Confident:

SSL certificates reassure visitors that their information is harmless when interacting with your website, which helps keep them confident.

Preventing Security Vulnerabilities: 

Monitoring helps identify any setup errors or weaknesses an attacker might exploit.

What happens When an SSL Certificate Expires?

The perks of HTTPS vanish when an SSL certificate expires. This implies that whenever a visitor accesses a website, their browser will display a security notice informing them that the website is potentially harmful and does not offer a secure connection.

Users may even be wholly prevented from visiting the page by some browsers.

The encrypted data transfer to and from the website is possible despite the expired SSL certificate. That being said, there’s no need to put off the implementation of a new SSL certificate just because the encryption is still functioning.

Recommended: Renew SSL/TLS Certificate at Lowest Price!

How Does Monitoring of SSL Certificates Work?

Monitoring SSL certificates is multi-phased and starts with validating the certificate, verifying expiration information, examining the certificate for problems, and keeping track of renewals. SSL monitoring tools are available to assist you. Maintain tabs on the issuers, configuration challenges, and validators of the moment.

First, an automatic HTTP request is sent to initiate the process. A regular request is made to the website URL to find out if the SSL certificate is still valid. Depending on how closely you wish to watch SSL certificates, you may decide how often to send HTTP GET queries.

For instance, corporate websites frequently send HTTP queries every thirty seconds to maintain operational security. Conversely, bloggers and small companies can ask to have the validity of their SSL certificates checked for as long as ten minutes or longer.

You only need to do something further if the website states the certificate is legitimate. If an invalid certificate is returned in response, the system logs this event as an SSL incident.

What is an SSL Certificate Incident?

The system will produce an error response, commonly called the SSL certificate incident if an incorrect certificate is found, as you are undoubtedly aware. A mismatch in the server’s name, expired certificates, incorrect configurations, challenges with the certificate chain of trust, and other factors might all lead to such an occurrence.

A monitoring tool or system will notify you of the issues if there is an SSL certificate incident. The expiry date is also displayed. Another pre-established threshold for SSL certificate monitoring is reached when any certificate surpasses its expiration date, and an alarm is issued.

The “incident alerting” process—which gives the person in control real-time notification—begins as soon as an SSL issue occurs. Such alerts are often provided via SMS, calls, and other messaging apps, notably MS Teams or Slack.

After receiving the notification, three minutes is the optimal amount of time to acknowledge the occurrence. The event is brought to the attention of everyone on the team. Still, having one person available to address any issue quickly is the best course of action.

The escalation procedure is stopped once an issue has been acknowledged to give teams more time to address it. Time to acknowledge (TTA) is the amount of time it takes for the alert message to be acknowledged by the team; this should be pre-defined.

Benefits of SSL Certificate Tracking

SSL Certificate Monitoring offers advantages and disadvantages like any other solution.

Greater Security: 

By detecting vulnerabilities, identifying misconfiguration, and preventing security breaches, SSL Certificate Monitoring allows organizations to maintain a safer online presence.

Fostering Trust: 

Proving that the website is legitimate, and its identity has been verified helps build users’ trust.

Downtime Preventing:

Organizations might avoid website outages, which would cause significant inconvenience to users and result in lost income, by getting notifications about impending certificate expirations.

Troubleshooting HTTPS Connections: 

The advantages of an HTTPS connection are lost if an SSL certificate expires, which affects both domain authority and data protection. A factor that search engines consider while indexing and enhancing your website’s domain authority is TTPS connections.

Disadvantages of SSL Certificate Monitoring

Resources Required: Money, time, and technical expertise are needed to implement and maintain an SSL Certificate Monitoring system.

Erroneous Notifications: 

Occasionally, the system may set off false alerts, resulting in needless stress and resource use.

The Degree of Complexity: 

Especially for large organizations, managing many SSL certificates across several domains can be challenging.

Top 5 Tools for Monitoring SSL Certificates

To help you start quickly, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 tools for checking SSL certificates’ validity, expiration, and modification.

Synthetic Sematexts

Sematext Synthetics continuously provides SSL checks on every certificate in the chain, seven days a week, twenty-five days a year. SSL checks are performed every time an API check is performed—which may take anywhere from a minute to an hour.

Additionally, a certificate update is made every ten minutes, and every day is a certificate expiration. Both the SSL certificate data and all the details of each unsuccessful run are preserved in the dashboard. Sematext has two independent monitors:

  • The chain validity, expiration date, name limitations, and other things are checked by the HTTP monitor.
  • In addition to the tests carried out by the HTTP monitor, the Browser monitor uses an actual Google Chrome browser to verify whether the certificate has been revoked, if it uses a weak signature or weak key, and whether it contains Certificate Transparency data.

If one of these monitors fails, Sematext will notify users via various channels, including Slack, Zapier, VictorOps, and custom notification hooks.


TrackSSL is a basic SSL certificate monitoring service that checks for prevalent issues and notifies users when something goes wrong. Additionally, TrackSSL will let you know if the SSL certificate chain has issues, such as an approaching expiration or weak signatures. Remember that Slack and email are the only notification methods it supports.

Although TrackSSL is a one-trick pony, which is expected from its simplicity, it accomplishes the task effectively and concisely. Slack integration will facilitate faster communication between you and your DevOps team, making it more straightforward to find and fix issues as they happen.

With three premium options that range in price from $17 to $136/year depending on the number of tracked domains, the pricing is pretty simple. Additionally, TrackSSL has a free subscription that lets you monitor up to two domains.


Application performance management solutions come in a comprehensive bundle with Atatus, an all-in-one monitoring solution. In addition to its many functions, Atatus’ synthetic (uptime) monitoring software has built-in SSL monitoring.

To guarantee secure communication between your vital services and users, Atatus regularly performs SSL API checks to notify you about your certificate’s validity and expiration dates. It quickly notifies you when your certificates are improperly configured on internal and external websites dispersed over various locations.

Additionally, You can use SSL certificate checking tool, to quickly ascertain if your website is safe to use and whether you have a valid SSL certificate.

SolarWinds Pingdom 

One of the more advanced synthetic monitoring services, Pingdom provides an extensive amount of data on your SSL certificates.

You can have notifications sent to you anytime your certificate expires, approaches its expiration date, or becomes invalid.

As part of their Uptime Monitoring packages, Pingdom includes SSL certificate monitoring, and you may manually specify how many days you’ll receive a message before the certificate expires.


You can watch your websites and ensure that your SSL/TLS certificate doesn’t expire without your knowledge using Smartbear. You may configure an alarm to go off 1-7-15 or 30 days before your certificate expires from the Smartbear AlertSite section.

This will provide you plenty of time to ensure your credentials are always current and make the required arrangements. You won’t receive notifications from Smartbear if you have an API endpoint monitor or real-browser monitor configured since it can only provide information on expired SSL certificates for URL monitors.

Their app, SMS, email, and further third-party integrations will all be used to send the notifications. The application can be used for as little as $10 per month for ten uptime checks, and a free 14-day trial is available to see what it offers.

You won’t receive any notifications if the certificate has been changed. Setting up separate Single URL monitors for every certificate you want to keep an eye on might be tedious, but this gives you more flexibility to customize your monitoring setup. A free trial is available if you’re interested in trying it, but you’ll need to contact their sales staff to learn more about their costs.

A Significant Takeaway Regarding SSL Certificate Tracking

SSL certificate monitoring is essential to your company’s profitability, given the evolving threat landscape and the growing need for HTTPS-based connectivity. For instance, if your SSL certificate is incorrect or expires, it may result in several challenges, including lost data, declining user confidence, and penalties from search engines like Google.

To make sure that your websites are as secure as possible, it is excellent practice to use SSL certificate monitoring. It has several advantages but needs an immediate alerting system in case of SSL issues. Specific business needs determine how procedures and message frequency should be designed if an SSL certificate expires or is detected as incorrect.


What is SSL Certificate Monitoring?

SSL Certificate Monitoring tracks the secure sockets layer certificate’s expiration date and the remaining days. It will make it simple for you to handle and keep an eye on your SSL expirations worldwide.

What is an SSL Certificate Checker?

SSL Certificate Checker validates the validity of the SSL certificate, as well as its issuance date, expiration date, and several other details, for the host or domain that is provided.

How do I keep an eye on my SSL Certificate’s Expiry?

  • In the website’s bar, click the padlock icon.
  • Select Certificate (Valid) from the dialogue box.
  • Verify the SSL certificate’s validity by looking at the Valid dates.

At Certera.com, Trusted SSL/TLS Certificates Start at Just $2.99/Yr

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Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a passionate Cyber-Security Enthusiast who keenly monitors the latest developments in the Web/Cyber Security industry. She puts her knowledge into practice and helps web users by arming them with the necessary security measures to stay safe in the digital world.