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Why SSL Is Important For Website Security

Secured Sockets Lock (SSL) certificates are all the rage in the cybersecurity world these days. They have taken the Internet by storm. Everyone requires an SSL certificate to ensure the security of data exchanged through their website, from small online retail stores to large financial institutions, from website owners to blog writers.

The importance of SSL certificates is not limited to information security. SSLs help develops user trust, improve SEO rank, and much more. Originally, SSL certificates were just a website requirement, but today they have become a mandatory standard. In this article, we’ll explain what SSL certificates are, what types of certificates are, how important they are, and who requires to use an SSL certificate.

What is an SSL certification?

SSL (Safe Outlets Lock) certifications are small information files used on the web server side that include a cryptographic secret to the server. When SSL certifications are installed on a server, a secure connection is established between the web server and the browser.

That means that the data transferred over this secure connection is encrypted. Therefore, a third party cannot hack or falsify the data. Even if a hacker looks at the website, he will only see a mixture of numbers and letters that are hard to crack.

An SSL certificate ensures that when someone visits your site using the HTTPS:// protocol instead of HTTP://, they visit your site and not some malicious one.

How do SSL certificates work?

SSL ensures it can not read all data transferred between users and websites or between two systems. It utilizes security algorithms to scramble information route to ensure that hackers can’t read it as it’s sent over the connection. This information includes possibly sensitive info such as names, addresses, bank card numbers, or other economic details.

The process works as follows

  • A web browser or server attempts to attach to a site (i.e., a web server) is secured with SSL.
  • The browser or server demands that the web server recognize itself.
  • The internet server sends the web browser or server a duplicate of its SSL certificate in action.
  • The web browser or server checks whether it counts on the SSL certificate. If it does, it signifies this to the internet server.
  • The web server sends a digitally signed verification to start an SSL-encrypted session.
  • The encrypted data is exchanged between the browser or server and the web server.

This procedure is, in some cases, referred to as the “SSL handshake.” What sounds like a lengthy process takes place in milliseconds.

When an SSL certificate secures a website, the abbreviation HTTPS (for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) appears in the URL. Without an SSL certificate, only HTTP letters appear, i.e., without the S for Secure. In addition, a padlock symbol is displayed in the address bar of the URL. That signals trust and provides security for visitors to the website.

SSL certifications usually have the complying with information

  • The domain for which provide the certificate.
  • The person, organization, or device for which the certificate was issued
  • Which certificate authority issued it
  • The digital signature of the certificate authority
  • Associated subdomains
  • The date the certificate was issued
  • The expiration date of the certificate
  • The public secret (the private key is not disclosed)

Why you need an SSL certificate

Websites need SSL certificates to protect user data, verify website ownership, prevent attackers from creating a fake website version, and instill trust in users.

When a website asks users to log in, enter personal information such as credit card numbers, or view sensitive information such as health benefits or financial data, this data must be kept confidential. SSL certificates help ensure that online interactions remain confidential, reassuring users that the site is authentic and secure so they can share private information.

Even more important for businesses is that an SSL certificate is required for an HTTPS web address. HTTPS is a secure HTTP form, meaning SSL encrypts traffic from HTTPS websites. Most browsers mark HTTP websites without an SSL certificate as “not secure.” That signals to users that may not trust the site and provides an incentive for companies that have not yet done so to switch to HTTPS.

An SSL certificate helps secure information such as:

  • Login credentials
  • Charge card deals or bank account info
  • Directly recognizable details – such as full name, address, date of birth, or telephone number
  • Legal documents and contracts
  • Medical records
  • Company proprietary information

Types of SSL Certificates

There are several kinds of SSL certificates with different levels of validation. The six main types are:

  • Extended Validation Certificates (EV SSL)
  • Organization Validated Certificates (OV SSL)
  • Domain Validated Certificates (DV SSL)
  • Wildcard SSL certificates
  • Multi-Domain SSL Certificates (MDC)
  • Unified Communications Certificates (UCC)

Extended Validation Certificates (EV SSL)

That is the highest-ranking and most expensive type of SSL certificate. It is usually utilized for high-profile sites that gather information and make internet settlements. When this SSL certificate is mounted, the padlock, HTTPS, company name, and country are displayed in the browser’s address bar.

Presenting the site owner’s info in the address bar assists in identifying the website from malicious websites. The site owner must undergo a standardized identity confirmation procedure to establish an EV SSL certificate to validate that they are lawfully authorized to possess individual civil liberties to the domain.

Organization Validated Certificates (OV SSL)

This version of the SSL certificate has a similar level of security as the EV SSL certificate because, to obtain one, the website owner must undergo an extensive validation process. This certificate also shows the internet site owner’s details in the address bar to identify it from harmful websites.

OV SSL certificates are generally the second most pricey (after EV SSLs) and are primarily utilized to secure the customer’s delicate information during deals. Business or public-facing websites need to set up an OV SSL certification to ensure all shared consumer information remains confidential.

Domain Validated Certificates (DV SSL)

This type of SSL certificate is one of the cheapest and fastest to obtain. The validation process to obtain this type of SSL certificate is minimal; therefore, Domain Validation SSL certificates offer lower security and minimal encryption.

They are typically used for blogs or informational websites, i.e., websites that do not involve data collection or online payments. As part of the validation process, website owners only need to prove domain ownership by responding to an email or phone call. Only HTTPS and a padlock are displayed in the browser’s address bar, and the company’s name is not shown.

Wildcard SSL certificates

Wildcard SSL certificates permit you to secure a base domain and an unlimited number of subdomains with a single certificate. If you need to secure multiple subdomains, buying a Wildcard SSL certificate is much cheaper than buying individual SSL certificates for each subdomain.

Wildcard SSL certifications have an asterisk * as part of the familiar name, where the asterisk represents all valid subdomains that share the same base domain. For example, can use a single wildcard certificate for the *website to secure the following:

  • Multi-Domain SSL Certificate (MDC)

Can use a multi-domain certificate to secure many domains and sub-domain names. That includes the combination of unique domains and sub-domains with different TLDs (top-level domains), excluding local/internal domains.

For example:


Multi-domain certifications do not sustain sub-domains by default. If you must protect both and with a multi-domain certification, both hostnames should be specified when applying for the certificate.

Unified Communications Certification (UCC)

Unified Communications Certificates (UCC) are also considered multi-domain SSL certifications. UCCs were initially developed to secure Microsoft Exchange and Live Communications servers. Today, website owners can use these certificates to secure multiple domain names with a single certificate.

UCC certificates are validated by the organization and display a padlock in a browser. UCC certificates can be used as EV SSL certificates to provide the highest level of security to website visitors via the green address bar.

To determine which SSL Certificate best suits your website, it’s essential to understand the different SSL Certificates.

How to obtain an SSL certificate

Can obtain SSL certificates directly from a certification authority (CA). Certificate Authorities – called Certification Authorities – concern countless yearly SSL certificates. They play a vital role in just how the Internet jobs and just how clear, reliable interactions can take place online.

An SSL certificate costs range from free to hundreds of dollars, depending on how much security you need. Once you have decided on the sort of certificate you need, you can search for certificate issuers that offer SSL certificates at the required level.

Obtaining your SSL certificate involves the following steps

Prepare by setting up your server and ensuring your WHOIS record is updated and matches the information you submit to the certificate authority (it must contain the correct company name and address, etc.).

  • Generate a certificate signing request (CSR) on your server. Your hosting company can help you with this.
  • Submitting this request to the Certificate Authority to validate your domain and company details.
  • Installing the certificate provided by the Certificate Authority once the process is complete.

Once you receive the certificate, you must configure it on your web host or servers if you are hosting the site yourself.

How quickly you obtain your certificate depends on your certificate and the certificate provider you get it from. Each level of validation takes different amounts of time. A basic Domain Validation SSL certificate can be issued within minutes of ordering, while Extended Validation can take up to a whole week.

Why is SSL so important for the security of a website?

Apart from the primary function of encrypting website data, an SSL certificate offers much more than you expect. The importance of SSL certificates can be seen in the following list.

1. Protects user data

An SSL certificate safeguards the communication between a web server and a browser. All the data exchanged between the customer and the server is encrypted and cannot be read by third parties. SSL certificates also provide the ability to specify who can access the secured data.

2. More protection from hackers

People want the security of their data, like credit card details, login credentials, etc. The SSL certificate ensures that no hacker can access this vital information. Moreover, an SSL certificate helps encrypt the data and protects the user in case of a man-in-the-middle attack.

3. Increases search engine rankings

Who doesn’t want to be at the top of the search engine rankings? Many search engines, especially Google, prefer sites with SSL certificates. For better SEO and to draw in more visitors to the website, SSL certifications are vital.

4. Complies with PCI standards

You must meet PCI (Payment Card Industry) Data Security Standards if your website deals with online payments. Among the 12 requirements that PCI imposes is the presence of an SSL certificate. If you do not have an SSL certificate, you can be subject to significant penalties from credit card firms.

5. Creates trust among users

In addition to encrypting data, an SSL certificate helps build users’ reliance on your website. When a website has an SSL certificate, you can be sure that your data is protected and can use and even revisit the website without any hindrance.

Also, when you click on the SSL certificate, you can get information about the organization, if it is an OV or EV certificate.

6. Needs safety identification

Situations of illegal purchases or swiped identities have decreased with an SSL certificate. It verifies the user’s identity before entering any information. It also authenticates the third party before sending your personal information to them.

7. Identifies risks

SSL certificates are essential to the website’s prior notification of a possible hack or threat. You can immediately check the website’s data for vulnerability or change important passwords or credentials.

Advantages of securing a website with an SSL certificate

Benefits of an SSL-secured website – encryption, authentication, search ranking improvement, secure shopping experience, and protection from hackers.

SSL means Secure Socket Layers and is an essential public facility that uses the RSA technique of file encryption and verification through safety and security certificates.

It assists in developing a safe and secure link between the client and the web server over the HTTPS secure method. It is optimal for safeguarding sensitive details, such as consumer calls and bank card details.

The public-key infrastructure uses the public key and the private key, which are used to encrypt and decrypt the information.

Secure access to the data is ensured with the help of certificates issued by a certification authority (CA) and released only for the respective area or server. Data is exchanged after the certificate has been verified and is thus handled privately and securely via an SSL connection. So, you need to understand the basic working of the SSL security mechanism.

The basic functional model of an SSL transaction is shown below

  • The customer demands a web server identification from the internet server.
  • The web server sends the SSL certification provided by the certificate authority to the customer.
  • The customer gets a copy of the certificate and sends a verification. The certification is validated, and the message is sent back to the web server.
  • The server sends out an electronic signature to the client once it receives the verification confirmation and starts the encrypted exchange of information between the customer and the web server.

The advantages of SSL certificates

SSL is a simple but secure channel for the safe transmission of data. It is valuable for clients and businesses as it provides a high level of security for their cloud-based transactions.

Eliminate hackers

Should exercise extreme caution with phishing sites. These are near-perfect replicas of an actual, authentic website and have many techniques to trick you into providing your sensitive information.

But SSL recognizes what we humans are incapable of and ensures that these fake websites never see the light of day.

It is difficult and impossible for fake websites to acquire SSL certificates. If customers are warned about the lack of SSL certificates, they will avoid falling prey to these fake websites. Moreover, an SSL certificate helps you to protect your website from eavesdropping, man-in-middle attacks, and sniffing attacks.

Better ranking and higher brand value

Suppose your internet site is secured with an SSL certification, and the internet link begins with a safe and secure HTTPS protocol. In that case, you obtain a ranking advantage in online search engines. A couple of months ago, Google upgraded its formula and included HTTPS as a ranking signal.

Using SSL extensively improves how users perceive your brand. When a trusted third-party certificate signs your website, your customers can be sure they are actually on a good and trustworthy website. They are less likely to worry about security issues and more likely to contact you.

Secure payments for a safe shopping experience

No one will dare to submit their credit card information through a simple HTTP website. Furthermore, a business website must have an SSL certificate to meet PCI security standards set by the payment card industry.

Without SSL, business sites cannot even dream of having a single successful credit card transaction. By implementing SSL, visitors will perceive your site as more trustworthy, and they will be able to make purchases securely through the HTTPS site.

Build trust with advanced authentication

Customers are becoming more and more security conscious. Since much sensitive information, such as bank passwords and personal data, is shared through a cloud platform, it must provide a secure authentication mechanism to ensure data privacy.

SSL accomplishes this objective by issuing a web server certificate and SSL certification. This web server certification raises the count on the variable of the solution offered as well as aids the client validate that you are who you claim you are.

CAS adheres to various recognition processes to authenticate the dependability of your company. It ensures the website is highly authenticated and protected to carry out online purchases by displaying the “Environment-friendly Bar” security trust mark. The procedure depends upon which certificate you select – domain recognition, company validation, and extended validation.

A domain validation certificate only verifies domain authentication, and an organization validation certificate validates the reliability of your business. In contrast, an extended validation (EV) SSL certificate confirms the existence and trustworthiness of your business by confirming legal documents.

Strongest encryption to protect information

All information transmitted over an SSL connection is encrypted, and there is no way that an interceptor can decrypt your data.

When the credit card information and other private data are transferred between the web server and the users’ browsers, the website is secured with robust encryption (e.g., SHA256-bit encryption) that gives hackers no way to intercept the transferred information. So you can be sure that the information will only ever reach the intended parties. Most certificate authorities use encryption algorithms such as RSA, DSA, and ECC.

As a site owner, you are responsible for creating a safe environment for your visitors and customers. We all know that HTTPS is a clear indicator of a secure website and that no one can spy on your personal information during a secure communication channel. It proves the authenticity of your business and reassures your visitors that the website is genuine and safe to conduct an online transaction. Therefore, you should purchase an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority and configure it on your web server.

How to tell if a website has an SSL certificate?

The easiest way to tell if a website has an SSL certificate is by looking at the address bar in your browser:

The site is safeguarded with an SSL certificate if the URL starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Secure websites display a closed padlock emblem that you can click to see security details – the most trusted websites have green padlocks or address bars.

Browsers also display warning signs when a connection is not secure, such as a red padlock, an unclosed padlock, a line through the website address, or a warning triangle above the padlock emblem.

Final words

Data security is the requirement of the hour. And SSL certificates are strictly designed to ensure data security. No matter how large or tiny your organization is, it is your responsibility as the owner to protect the data of the visitors. So, without underestimating the potential of traffic on your website, it’s time to encrypt the data and prevent your website from being classified as “not secure.”

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