05.06.2024 r. Insight Land

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

What is SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client—typically a web server (website) and a browser, or a mail server and a mail client (e.g., Outlook). SSL allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely. Normally, data sent between browsers and web servers is sent in plain text—leaving you vulnerable to eavesdropping. If an attacker is able to intercept all data being sent between a browser and a web server, they can see and use that information. Therefore, SSL is essential for protecting your website, even if it doesn’t handle sensitive information like credit cards. It provides privacy, critical security, and data integrity for both your websites and your users’ personal information.

Why is SSL important?

SSL is important because it secures all data transfer between the various parties preventing hackers from stealing private information such as credit card numbers, names, and addresses. If you sell products or services directly from your website and accept credit card payments, SSL helps in securing these transactions by encrypting the data in transit, deterring hackers from accessing sensitive information. SSL not only protects your customers but also helps in building your reputation as a safe and reliable website to visit and do business with. Google also ranks websites with SSL higher than those without it, which means SSL can also improve your site’s SEO ranking. This makes SSL an indispensable tool for any website that aims to provide services securely and increase its visibility and credibility online.

How does SSL work?

SSL works by using a cryptographic system that uses two keys to encrypt data: a public key known to everyone and a private or secret key known only to the recipient of the message. When you visit an SSL-secured website, your browser will form a connection with the webserver, recognize the SSL certificate, and bind your browser and the server. This secure connection is made possible through the SSL handshake, which ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL certificates have a key pair: a public and a private key. These keys work together to establish an encrypted connection. The certificate also contains what is called the “subject,” which is the identity of the certificate/website owner. To get an SSL certificate, you must go through a validation process set out by an authorized Certificate Authority (CA). Depending on the type of validation required, the CA will then issue an SSL certificate that can secure connections with a high level of trust.

Good to know about SSL

While SSL is a critical component for securing information online and building trust with users, it’s important to keep in mind that SSL alone does not safeguard a website from all types of security vulnerabilities. For example, SSL does not protect a website from attacks like SQL injection or cross-site scripting (XSS). Moreover, improperly configured SSL certificates can cause warnings to appear in users’ browsers, which might deter them from visiting your site. Therefore, while SSL is a foundational element of secure online transactions and communication, it should be part of a comprehensive security strategy that includes regular website scanning, secure coding practices, and other security measures.