One of the most common methods of protecting information on the Internet is the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) data encryption protocol used by the client and server for exchange. It was developed by Netscape. Exchange security is ensured by encryption and digital certificate authentication.
Servers are uniquely identified using this file. The signing and certification of the certificate is carried out by specialized centers. They are called certificate authorities or certification authorities.
What is an SSL certificate?
The concept of SSL certificates is familiar to everyone, but not everyone knows what it is and why they are required. In fact, this is a digital signature of the site, confirming its authenticity. Using a certificate protects both visitors and the owner of the web resource. It allows you to apply SSL encryption technology to a specific site.
The main task of a digital certificate is to provide a secure connection between the server and the client browser, protect data from spoofing, interception andtheft. The certificate is used when establishing a secure HTTPS connection to identify the site and encrypt data.
How SSL works
The information transmitted in a protected form is decrypted only with the help of a special digital signature certificate key. This approach guarantees data security. The protection of the information of visitors to a web resource, even if it is not important, is provided by an SSL certificate. If the site is not secure, then customers can leave it. The presence of a certificate is displayed in the browser line with a lock icon.
Digital certificate validity scheme:
- User accesses a protected resource.
- Checks DNS and determines the site's hosting IP address.
- Searching for a specific web resource record, redirecting to the host server.
- Requesting a secure SSL connection from the site host.
- In response, the host sends a valid SSL certificate.
- A secure connection is established, all transmitted data is encrypted.
Protecting customers and business
SSL protection is required for almost all sites, especially those that are often attacked. Digital certificates are used not only by financial and credit organizations, but also by payment systems, government portals, even individual entrepreneurs and online stores.
The use of SSL certificates is beneficial for businesses, since the data received and sent is encrypted, passing through the authentication procedure, which gives visitorsconfidence that their personal data will be protected from falling into the wrong hands. The uniqueness of certificates becomes an obstacle for cyber fraudsters working on phishing schemes.
The existence and reputation of the site owner's company is also protected, since customer data is not at risk of interception, attack or theft. The storage of information exchanged between the client's browser and the site is guaranteed by an SSL certificate and is aimed at protecting the business, which is important when conducting online transactions and financial transactions. An indirect benefit can be called an increase in the level of trust in the business and an increase in sales.
Search engine results
The icons of the HTTPS abbreviation and the padlock in the site's URL have become a confirmation of the security of the web resource. An Extended Validation SSL certificate in the green address period indicates high reliability. Color coding allows users to identify safe sites.
An additional advantage of certificate validation is higher positions in search engine results compared to similar resources without SSL. Back in 2014, Google announced that the ranking of sites will take into account the presence of HTTPS, and the last letter S just indicates the use of an SSL certificate.
How to get a digital certificate?
SSL certificates are distributed not by specialized centers, but by theirpartners. On the territory of Russia, the certificates of the most famous certification centers are implemented by many companies; their root certificates are preinstalled in almost all browsers.
Partners enter into agreements with various CAs, which expands the list of offered certificates, allowing you to choose the best option, get discounts and help from specialists in installing SSL on the server.
Not all certificates are available for a fee. The duration of use of the free certificate does not exceed one year.
In different manufacturing companies, the cost of certificates can vary greatly depending on the specific conditions of development, implementation and the contract concluded with partners.
CAs are considered an independent party whose activities are aimed at verifying the accuracy of the information specified in the certificate.
There are several types of certificates according to the level of verification. Let's consider each of them in more detail.
Certificates with simplified verification - Domain validation - are suitable for protecting users' personal data. It is considered the most inexpensive and lowest level, it involves checking domains. Can be used by legal entities or individuals, issued by the centers to administrators or owners of a domain name and confirms it.
Next level certificates - Organization validation. Used by organizations and verify the relationship between the domain name, its owner and the company,using a certificate. It confirms not only the domain name, but also its ownership by an existing organization.
Extended validation - certificates with extended validation - are used to more thoroughly verify the company and its credentials. The most prestigious variety, causing more trust among users. OV and EV certificates, for example, are sold by DigiCert, one of the leading certificate authorities.
The address bar of the browser after installing the extended certificate changes color to green, which visually confirms the reliability of the web resource. The certificate indicates the name of the organization and certification authority that sold the certificate.
The green address bar is an indicator of the legitimacy of the site owner's business. EV certificates provide protection against fraudulent websites and act as proof of the legitimacy of the conducted business activity for clients. During their production, the organization is carefully checked, including its activities, compliance with official documentation and the availability of rights to use the domain name. This explains the success of businesses using Extended Validation certificates in the market.
Allocate certificates for one, several and all subdomains of a specific domain, public key certificates and others.
SSL certificates in Russia
According to the data of analytical services, out of more than three million sites located in the. RU zone, SSL certificates that have passed verification of certifyingcenters, there are only 60,000 resources. The rest have only invalid and self-signed certificates, or they are completely absent.
GlobalSign International Center together with REG. RU launched a program aimed at popularizing digital certificate standards and secure transmission of information on the network. It was created specifically for owners of Internet resources and ordinary users of Russia and the CIS countries.
A key element of the developed program is to increase the availability and popularity of SSL technology and dissemination among topical security tools among site owners. The main task is to form a culture of protection of transmitted information.
The attention of the country's leadership was also drawn to SSL-certificates. According to the information provided by the media, it is planned to create a state certification center in Russia. Work on its formation is already underway. But to implement this idea, it is required to oblige browser developers to pre-install a unique root certificate in the software.
What is the value of SSL and HTTPS? The minimum is to increase the position of the web resource in the search engine results. In addition, you should not discount such a factor as user trust. From a technical point of view, it is not difficult to install SSL on a website, similarly from a financial point of view. An SSL certificate is an economical and easy way to secure your website and online transactions, making them more secure forclients. Today, SSL is considered the most important internet security measure and is the internationally recognized industry standard.