What Is An SSL Certificate

What is an SSL certificate

  • January 27, 2021
  • 674 Views

What is an SSL certificate.

An SSL certificate creates a special encryption in order to establish trust.
SSL stands for – Secure Sockets Layer

Today SSL certificates is one of the most important components for any online business website because it creates a trusted environment where customers can feel safe and confident when making an online purchase on your website.

SSL certificates also create a foundation of trust. It does this by establishing a secure connection between the website and the internet user’s web browser. To help website visitors know that a website has been secured with a SSL certificate the web browser will show https:// in the top URL bar.
Modern day web browsers in 2021 will always give a warning to the user if a website has not been secured with such an importaint a security measure.

Another way to inform website visitors they are on a secured website, web browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox use special visual cues that are commonly called EV indicators. This can be anything from a branded URL bar to a padlock.

What is a Secure Sockets Layer? (SSL)

An SSL is todays standard security technology which creates a encrypted connection between a client's computer and the server it is connecting to. Generally the clients computer is conneting to a common web server.
Before SSL was was first created. Website security was based on the older TLS technology otherwise known as "Transport Layer Security"

 

SSL now allows different types of very sensitive information such as credit card numbers to be transmitted more securely. Generally, data that is sent between common web browsers and web servers can be sent by using simple plain text. This leaves the transaction of data vulnerable to attacks and eavesdropping. This why SSL is todays security standard.
Without SSL an attacker can intercept the data being sent between the users browser and the web server. They can then see and use that information for illegal reasons.

How do SSL certificates create a secure connection?
 

  1. The Browser connects to a web server that is secured with SSL (https). The browser will then request for that server to identify itself.
  2. The Server then sends a copy of its own SSL certificate which will includin the server’s special public key.
  3. The Browser will then check the certificate root against a special list of  what's called trusted CAs. It then makes sure that the SSL certificate is unexpired, unrevoked, and that the common name is infact valid for the website that it is establishing a connecting to. If the browser then trusts the SSL certificate it then goes on to creating and encrypting  a symmetric session key using the server’s allocated public key.
  4. The Server then goes on to decrypting the symmetric session key using its private key. It then sends back an encrypted acknowledgement.
  5. The Server and the web browser now goes onto encrypting all new transmitted data with the sessions private key.


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