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Introduction to SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer)

by John Bhatt
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Introduction to SSL Certificate

Since Google has started to give higher priority to websites with SSL certificate while listing in search result and ranking. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificates are used to encrypt records between user and server so that request sent from user is not seen and modified in the mid way. Processing Card details, Payments and other personal information is risked on middle while we send without SSL.

What is SSL?

SSL is abbreviation of Secure Sockets Layer and is a protocol for data encryption. This is next version of TLS (Transport Layer Security). SSL is a cryptographic protocol which provides communication security between computer networks.

Netscape are the original developers of SSL protocol. Current stable version of SSL is TLS 1.2 which was released in year 2008 and TLS version 1.3 is still undecided and under development.

Who owns or issues SSL Certificate?

Certificate Authority, commonly referred as CA are responsible for issuing SSL Certificate. A digital certificate certifies the ownership of a public key by the named subject of the certificate.

This allows others (relying parties) to rely upon signatures or on assertions made about the private key that corresponds to the certified public key.

A CA acts as a trusted third party—trusted both by the subject (owner) of the certificate and by the party relying upon the certificate. The format of these certificates is specified by the X.509 standard.

How to know whether website is using SSL Certificate or not?

This is very simple. Almost Every Internet Address begins with http. Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol is only medium to transfer web pages between browsers and server.

If website address begins with http:// this is not a website with SSL Certificate

If website address starts with https:// this is a website with SSL Certificate. All the requests you have sent are encrypted by your browser before sending to server and then only server can decrypt the data sent so your data is always safe.

Types of SSL Certificate

SSL Certificates are of different kinds based on their provider, encryption technology and encryption strength.

Mainly, we can divide SSL certificates in three levels.

  1. Domain Validated SSL Certificate (DV) : These are cheapest of all three and have lowest level of security trust among other certificates. These certificate only validate the domain name from registry. These only help to prevent hackers intercept resources in between. This kind of SSL Certificate are not validated against business, so think before trusting businesses running on DV certificates.
  2. Organization Validated SSL Certificate (OV) : These are middle ranger by the point of costing. OV SSL Certificates are issued by real agents. Prior issuing this kind of certificate, business is validated with government records and contain all necessary business information as per international standard (X.509 RFC).
  3. Extended Validation SSL Certificate (EV) : These are the toughest and most costly certificate which are issued after much more validation and have green bar and organization name in address bar.

Below is certificate property of Symantec which is Class 3 EV SSL Certificate. While browsing on major browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozille Firefox and some other browsers, browser’s address bar displays green bar which clearly tells user to trust on them. SSL Certificate

How costly are SSL Certificates?

SSL Certificates are costly as compared to other online products. However, some cost effective SSL certificates are also available. Below factors are responsible for deciding cost of SSL certificate.

  1. Different certificate authority have their own brand value. So, different brand has different cost.
  2. Certificate Authorities allow other affiliates to sell their certificate on their price and charge them differently. So the affiliates who is selling SSL Certificate decides the price.
  3. Another pricing factor is these categories also have various factors to differentiate between certificates based on factors like multi-domain support, wildcard support (subdomain), etc.

Average price for DV SSL certificate ranges between $70 or more per year. EV SSL Certificates are starting somewhere around $200 or more per year.

Most important fact for a website owner is, to install SSL certificate for your website.

Reach us by commenting, we have some special plans to share for best SSL certificates to share with you.

Keep sharing and stay tuned for next in this series.

Reference: Symantec Blog

1 comment

1 comment

Manoj Kumar July 14, 2017 - 1:24 PM

Nice Informatative Article !

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