The need for the secure transmission of data has always been a requirement in applications that deal with sensitive pieces of data. However, with the recent data breaches and cyber attacks, it’s not surprising that you might be wondering what you can do to protect your website from hackers and other threats.
One of the first steps to strengthening your web security measures is to buy SSL certificates. In this blog post, we’ll go over the SSL Certificate basics you may want to know about and how they can help protect your site against common threats like man-in-the-middle attacks, phishing scams, malware infections, etc. We will also touch on how to choose the best SSL certificate for your website.
What is SSL, and why do I need it?
An SSL Certificate is a digital certificate that provides encryption for the data being transmitted between your website and its visitors. With it in place, any information sent or received will be encrypted by an algorithm to keep hackers from reading what’s happening on your site.
It’ll encrypt all sensitive data communicated over the internet—like credit card numbers, social security numbers, personal medical records—anything that needs protection should have it as soon as possible. This is essential because if someone gets hold of your information, it’s the same as having their hand in your wallet.
In addition to encryption, SSL Certificates also provide digital authentication that allows you to validate ownership of a website or server by using an Authentication Request Certificate (ARC). This ARC is verified against what’s on record for that specific certificate, and if they match up, everything continues without interruption. If there are any discrepancies with the data, though– like someone else pretending to be you— then access will be denied until further verification occurs.
Why buy SSL Certificates?
There are plenty of reasons why you should have ‘to buy SSL certificates‘ as one of your utmost priorities when ensuring web security for your site. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why having even a cheap SSL certificate on your site is worth it.
- SSL certificates protect all sensitive data transmitted between visitors and your site: You do not want to risk having a hacker get their hands on any personal information, which could cause severe problems like financial fraud and potential loss of trust with your customers. Therefore, it’s essential to buy SSL certificates if you want peace of mind with customers making purchases or keying in personal identifying information on your website.
- SSL certificates help you reduce risks of phishing attacks against your business: Through the authentication and validation of ownership via an ARC on your website, the SSL certificate will prove that you own the site and not someone else pretending to be you. This means no one can buy an SSL certificate for your domain without approval, which is excellent for barring any potential threats like phishing attacks.
- Protection against man-in-the-middle attack (MITM): One of the most common types of cyberattacks today is this type of attack, and it can be devastating and irreparable if it takes place. When you buy SSL certificates and install them to harden your web security, they encrypt all the data so that hackers cannot read the content or tamper with it for malicious purposes.
- PCI Compliance: If you process payments on your website, you have to secure all your customer data and transaction information. You are vulnerable to security breaches from hackers who seek to steal card details before or after they occur. It is good practice for all merchants to take necessary steps towards ensuring they meet PCI DSS compliance need: this includes using SSL certificates as one of the critical components needed for PCI compliance (along with firewalls, vulnerability scanning, employee training, etc.).
- SSL certificates will keep your users from seeing a warning page when they visit your website that says ‘not secure: Websites are vulnerable if they don’t have SSL certificates. Google even announced that they would be penalizing any website that isn’t using an https:// protocol. Today, Google estimates that around 95 percent of the internet is encrypted. If you buy SSL certificates and ensure that they’re installed correctly, users will be more trusting of your brand. People want their information to be protected, and most don’t understand the risks of giving up that personal data to a website that doesn’t use encryption. It shows your familiarity with best security practices, which makes visitors more comfortable doing business with you.
How do I choose a Certificate?
Based on validation, there are three types of web security certificates that you can buy: Domain Validation (DV), Organization Validation (OV), and Extended Validation (EV).
- Domain Validation: This SSL certificate has the lowest validation level. Your Certificate Authority (CA) will only need to verify that you own the domain. You will do the verification through your domain registrar. You may need to upload a file you will be provided by the CA to your domain or make some changes to a DNS record to demonstrate to the CA that you have control over the domain in question. It only indicates in the browser that your website is secured with a genuine SSL certificate.
- Organization Validation: This SSL certificate has a medium validation level. The CA will perform more extensive validation of your business. The CA will want to see the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) and a copy of your company’s validated articles of incorporation, as well as any other identity documents. An OV certificate displays the name of your company in the certificate details.
- Extended Validation (EV): This SSL certificate has a higher validation level than DV and OV. The CA will want to see the CSR, but in addition, they will want to see any relevant documentation related to this business, including details on the location, management structure, and so on. The EV certificate also displays the name of your company in the browser (in most cases).
Do note that there are also different types of SSL certificates depending on the number of domains you’d wish to secure. In this case, you may want to choose between; single-domain SSL certificates, wildcard SSL certificates, and multi-domain SSL Certificates.
- Single-domain SSL Certificates: This type of SSL certificate secures only one domain. You will need to purchase another SSL if you have more than one domain name.
- Wildcard SSL Certificates: With this single certificate, you can afford premium security to the primary domain of your choice and the unlimited first-level subdomains below it. It is a preferred choice for ecommerce webshop owners as it is a future-proof and scalable option. In case of unlimited subdomains security, you can go with affordable or cheap wildcard SSL.
- Multi-domain SSL certificates: This type of SSL certificate secures up to 100 FQDN (varies from provider to provider) using just one certificate. You can use it for securing a network of multiple domains (e.g., *.domain1.com, *.domain2.com, etc.).
How to find the best SSL Provider for your Website?
When looking to buy SSL certificates, you want a reliable web security provider that offers fast speeds to deliver their service. However, you probably already understand that not all providers are created equally. Hence, you want to tread with care when looking for the right SSL certificate, depending on your needs.
The best way to buy Web Security Certificates is by using a comparison website and reliable SSL provider like SSL2Buy, which will allow you to compare prices from multiple providers and find one that suits your needs. Always buy SSL Certificates from trusted providers with a good reputation.
The Bottom Line
Using SSL certificates for your site is a great way to maintain high levels of Web Security best practices. Not only will the certificates keep your customers happy, but it also helps you comply with PCI DSS compliance and protect yourself from hackers. If you’re yet to install SSL certificates and migrate from HTTP to HTTPS, it will help if you do that now.