Importance Of SSL Certificates

What is an SSL Certificate and why is it important?

( 3 min read )

Why worry about an SSL Certificate?

There are a lot of little things that come together to give your online presence maximum security. One of those things along with email and cyber security services is an SSL Certificate that goes on your official business website. This SSL Certificate is important because it protects your visitors from data theft, ultimately contributing towards safeguarding your brand repute.

In this blog, we’ll discuss just how it is able to do that.

What is SSL?

Between any communication, there are three primary entities: the sender of data, the receiver of the data, and the channel which ferries this data back and forth. Data bouncing between these three entities is vulnerable to corruption or theft. That’s why it becomes necessary to encrypt this data, so that only the intended recipient receives it.

This is the responsibility of the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and its close successor, the TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocols. These protocols enable the authentication and encryption of resource links between computers. The internet, of course, being one giant network itself. All the web URLs that exist on it are nothing more than resource links.

In this scenario of browsing on the web, the person who requests the URL (or simply put, enters it in her / his browser) is initially the sender of data (web request), and the web server is the receiver of data. When the server services the request, the roles are reversed. The internet remains the communication channel. And like we’ve established above, this communication cycle is open to security threats.

HTTP and HTTPS

The main advantage of opting for SSL/TLS enabled browsing is that all requests are made on the HTTPS protocol instead of the HTTP protocol. The additional ‘S’ stands for secure. HTTPS implements the SSL certificate signed by an encryption key using a CA (certificate authority). All requests made via this HTTPS protocol are inherently more secure and trustworthy.

You can make out whether a site has an SSL certificate installed if there is a lock symbol next to the URL in the browser.

Just click on the lock symbol of any website to check the validity of the SSL Certificate.

This is how it looks if a website does not have any SSL certification installed:

This website has not implemented the SSL Certificate

As you can see, it is very visually obvious if you have the SSL certificate enabled for your website. Those who know the significance of it will shy away from your site if you haven’t, and those who don’t are at risk of data security issues. But it doesn’t stop there. Search engines can blacklist your domain if they find you haven’t shifted to HTTPS yet and data threats are repeatedly being reported.

Contents of an SSL Certificate

SSL achieves additional security using a combination of public and private keys, which are basically lengthy strings used for encryption and decryption of network requests. In this way, no third-party snooper can access these requests.

Moreover, SSL certificates have mappings which can map your web request with the correct server which will fetch the data for you. This way, no random ‘man in the middle’ can serve up their own malicious content for the web requests.

To that end, each SSL Certificate contains the following information:

  1. The domain name which issued the certification request
  2. Identifying details of the person, organization, or device the certificate was issued to
  3. Details of the certificate authority  (CA) that issued the SSL certificate
  4. The CA’s digital signature
  5. Associated subdomains (for example, you are reading this on https://blog.logix.in while we also have our main site at https://logix.in )
  6. Certificate Issue date
  7. Certificate Expiry Date
  8. The public key only (the private key is not declared openly)

Obtaining an SSL Certificate for your site

There are several online services available which provide SSL certificates. You can also request your web host to enable it for you. Logix also offers comprehensive SSL certificate solutions including Entrust & Digicert to protect your business enterprises against blacklisting. View our SSL services and see if we are a good fit for your needs.

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