Showing posts with label ssl security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ssl security. Show all posts

12 March 2013

Difference Between Self-Signed and Third Party Security Certificate

SSL Security Certificates
SSL Security Certificates
In the current internet age, almost all web-based enterprises leave no stone upturned to engage their target customers across the globe, which happens to be a move that has inevitably become the most crucial step towards establishing a successful online business. In case of an online ecommerce industry, one may find it difficult to believe that 75 per cent of online consumers seek a security certificate before making any online purchase. That is to make sure that an online website is protected and verified by an SSL certificate.

Those who are unfamiliar with the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), it is a type of security certificates, which are provided mostly by Verisign, Comodo or one of the Symantec brands. In the absence of a valid SSL certificate by one of the reliable aforementioned brands, the reliability of the website is not confirmed and thus, online buyers generally click away and look for some other portals. A security certificate like SSL is actually an electronic credit card that verifies the identity and credentials of an online site, engaged in internet marketing and other types of retail transactions across the World Wide Web.

What is a security certificate?

A website's security certificate is issued by the Certification Authority (CA) and consists of name, serial number, expiration dates and a copy of its owner's public key access. A valid SSL certificate is usually required for encryption of information, messages and digital signatures. Additionally, an SSL certificate for website comprises the digital signature of a certificate issuing authority, in order to enable an online visitor to verify its authenticity and source. Further, security certificate like SSL can be listed in online registries, so as to facilitate authentication procedure for any consumer by allowing checking public keys for verification.    

What is better - Self signed or third party signed security certificate 

A few IT tech-heads believe that expenses on website verification can be easily cut down by removing third party SSL certification from the budget equation. Those with the idea of spending money on a SSL certificate for an ecommerce business portal or an official company site is nothing but trivial, and are walking on a tight rope. A self signed security certificate for an online retail/business website is not a viable substitute for paid certification, offered by Verisign, Comodo or Symantec. As per reports and market studies, the net cost of owning a valid SSL certificate is much greater than the actual price of the certificate. Since, the input costs on data centre storage space, management software and security hardware, amid others, easily add up to a huge sum for building a secure and self signed website.

27 February 2013

How digital certificates work to make your website secure?

SSL Certificates
SSL Certificates
Digital certificates are a set of tools used for managing the authentication of different users visiting a particular website, where the identity details are recorded. Prior to the advent of digital certificates, in order to make a website accessible to a limited audience and authenticating incoming user traffic, the only way was to allot a unique username and password to the focused customers. Hence, the use of such digital certificates provided a more robust and efficient access control mechanism, along with many other merits over assigning username and password, whose misuse is a serious security loop hole.  

Introduction to an https certificate

At present, the entire information exchange and communications taking place on the internet are done on a standard protocol, called as the hyper text transfer protocol (http), which is one of the several types of digital certificates. The http protocol is functional at the highest layer of the Transmission Control Protocols and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) model and is actually a language that defines a format, according to which various web servers and web browsers communicate with each other. The basic http digital certificate is a clear text protocol that manages and transfer data to-and-fro across a particular network, which unfavorably makes them vulnerable to exploitation from unrestricted access.

The lack of privacy in http certificates made way for the arrival of an https certificate, which is nothing but http secure. These types of digital certificates offer enhanced security over http certificates and are ideal for use in the exchange of highly sensitive information, such as online identities, usernames, passwords and debit or credit card numbers, along with confidential corporate business secrets. The fundamental idea behind an security certificate is that they use multiple encryption levels, so as to keep the information transfer as discreet and secure as possible.

In line with the various information encryption methods, the https certificate gives a definition to the use of encryption keys, so as to ensure a smooth and secure data flow between web servers and web browsers in the network. It must be noted that every web server has its own public encryption key that can be made accessible to a particular user, in order to establish a safe and secure web connection.

The digital certificates come into the picture when an end user's web browser wishes to verify if the public key offered by the web server actually belongs to any individual or organisation, which claims itself to be a genuine source. Further, the websites are deemed secure and genuine, when they display their digital certificate to the visiting user on his/her web browser. These kinds of certificates can be availed from a highly trusted third party, called Certificate Authority (CA). The CA issues a digital certificate that is usually enough for verifying that the website source and ownership is nothing but genuine.