TLS/SSL 07-16-2014

More Than Just a Padlock, SSL Is Life Secured

Flavio Martins

Transport Layer Security (TLS), popularly known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), is the most popular standard for encryption and security online today. SSL is most known for the https:// that is displayed when a certificate is being used to secure website connections; but there's much more to SSL than just a padlock.

Strong encryption can be used to secure and authenticate parties when a connection is made on a network. The technology encrypts the data while it travels from one user to the other and verifies the data that is sent is unaltered and correct.

SSL for Life and Work

SSL Certificates secure much more than just a website online. Enterprises rely on SSL/TLS to secure a large number of corporate communication platforms and operations. SSL goes beyond just securing websites, it also secures email communications, server to server connections, and mail to server connections.

TLS can be used to authenticate software updates, VPN connections, access to databases, and log ins to network devices. SSL is being utilized by health information exchanges to confirm the identify of individuals receiving personal health records and it can sign and verify signatures on important documents.

With SSL Certificates you can connect to your appliances, security system, and other home automation devices. As you work with the Internet of Things, you can trust that SSL will secure life and work from outsiders.

Cheap SSL Certificates Leave Security Exposed

Trusting the SSL Certificate behind your communications requires trusting the organization that issued the certificate. Just like not every certificate provider is the same, not every SSL Certificate is the same. For years, people have turned to cheap SSL Certificates to get basic encryption.

But just as you wouldn't hand over the keys to your home to just anyone, you shouldn't trust just any provider to secure your systems. Choosing a Certificate Authority (CA) is just as important as picking the right certificate.

Encryption is encryption, but not every provider can offer complete verification of the identity of the certificate holder. The best SSL Certificates are never processed with automated systems, and they always include human review for security and identity verification.

Certificates that provide no identity assurance can be easily exploited by scammers and are commonly used in phishing scams and other online crimes.

High-Assurance, Trusted SSL Certificates

The high-assurance, fully trusted SSL Certificates that DigiCert issues all include full identity verification. These Organization Validation (OV) certificates require organizations to undergo a background verification of their organization and website.

Getting a fully verified, high-assurance or Extended Validation SSL Certificate doesn't mean waiting for days or weeks for it to be issued. The DigiCert validation process is the fastest, most streamlined identity vetting process. That means that your high-assurance certificate verification is completed in a matter of minutes.

When people question if verification can really be done this fast, as the VP of Operations and Customer Support I can reassure them that I look out on the support floor every day and see our validation guys hard at work documenting and verifying business details so that you can get certificates as quickly as possible.

If you're looking for reasons as to why choose DigiCert the answer is clear.

SSL is more than just a padlock, it's life secured. Going through the validation process at DigiCert is part of preparing for the three basic security services all administrators should ensure:

  • Trust that all SSL providers offer the same level of confidentiality
  • Assurance of data integrity in communication
  • Verification of the identity an SSL Certificate owner

Without SSL, Networks Default to Insecure

Today's most commonly used networking protocols are older than the SSL protocol. That means in the absence of installing an SSL Certificate, these protocols will still operate insecurely. Today's high security requirements mean that ensuring that proper monitoring is taking place and that these devices are indeed secure can take a significant effort in an enterprise.

HTTP for websites, SMTP, POP, IMAP for email, and FTP for file transfers were all designed to allow information to be sent and received without any data encryption security. Clear text that is sent across public networks exposes sensitive information to the world.

With DigiCert Trust Lifecycle Manager, administrators can take advantage of powerful certificate management tools. And, with Certificate Inspector, you can quickly scans networks and identify and insecure systems, categorize the security in place, and even get grades on your security configuration with a list of remediation actions.

Administrators no longer need to worry about the impact of expired certificates, difficult certificate renewals, misconfigured devices, and potential vulnerabilities. The Certificate Inspector cloud service takes care of work and personal certificate discovery, deployment, maintenance, and lifecycle management.

It's more than just a padlock; it's life secured.


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