An Overview Of SSL & How It Works

An SSL Certificate is a small file that binds an organization’s details to a cryptographic key. By installing it on a web server, it activates the padlock and SSL protocol (over port 443). This allows web servers and web browsers to exchange safety-sensitive information. Security on social media sites is also using SSL, which is typically used to secure credit card transactions, data transfers, and logins.

SSL binds domain names, servers and hosts. They secure the names and information of the domain to enhance security.

To initiate secure sessions with browsers, organizations must install the SSL Certificate on their web servers. Different levels of vetting will be required depending on the type of SSL Certificate applied for. The server will establish a secure connection with the browser once https://www.domain.com is installed. The web server and user can communicate securely once a secure connection has been established.

SSL encrypts and secures all communications between a browser and a web server (website). A key will typically appear in the lower portion of your web browser. You must first have an SSL Certificate before you can get SSL for your website. An SSL Certificate installs on your web server and enables you to access your server’s security features, making your site secure for your users. Securing server-to-browser communications is facilitated by SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). A web server (such as an online store or online banking application) needs to secure any information passed by a browser (such as an individual’s credit card number or password). By using SSL, you can prevent unintended recipients from intercepting and viewing data submitted over the Internet.

SSL is used:

  • Secure online credit card transactions;
  • The encryption of data exchanged online and system logins;
  • Applications such as Outlook Web Access, Exchange, and Office Communications Server that provide a secure environment;
  • Cloud-based computing platforms or workflow applications such as Citrix Delivery Platforms;
  • For connecting an email client like Outlook with an email server like Outlook Exchange;
  • To ensure that files are transferred securely over HTTPS and FTP (s), such as when website owners update their websites with new pages or transfer large files;
  • Using Parallels, cPanel, and similar control panels to secure logins and activities;
  • Providing secure intranet access to internal networks, file sharing, extranets, and databases.
  • Using SSL VPNs such as Citrix Access Gateway or VPN Access Servers to secure network logins and other traffic.
  • There are several common themes among these applications:
  • A network or the Internet needs to protect the data that is being transmitted. Or, people are worried about having their credit card number, login credentials, or passwords exposed online.
  • As long as the data stays intact, a hacker in the middle cannot change the amount to be charged and where the funds should go once credit card details have been sent.
  • You need identity assurance to authenticate your organization to customers/extranet users to ensure that the right organization is dealing with them.
  • Some regulations apply to your organization on data security, integrity, and privacy.

SSL Certificate Types

There are three types of SSL certificates:

Certificates that validate domain names

Certification applicants must prove that they own only the domain name. Within the certificate request, the Certification Authority was provided with a domain name.

Certificates of Organization Validation

A certificate applicant must prove that his/her company is a legally accountable business and must pass a domain validation. In the certificate issued, the certificate applicant’s domain name and company name are listed.

Extended Validation Certificates

Contains two types of validation requirements, as well as additional requirements. In the certificate issued, the certificate applicant’s domain name and company name are listed.

Chrome provides a Developer Tool that lets you determine whether a certificate is valid. Then you will need to select the Security tab to determine whether the SSL certificate has expired or is valid. You can view more information about the SSL certificate and the specific date it’s valid by clicking on the View certificate button.

Check the encryption status of a website next time you visit it. It’s great to know that I can view the security of my data just by clicking a padlock. In contrast, if you represent a business that is unable to protect its customers’ data and privacy, you should make this a goal soon.