SSL certificates prevent cyber threats by enabling an encrypted connection between the user’s browser and the website’s server
The need for online security has risen exponentially as more and more people and businesses are also becoming aware of online threats. At the same time, data breaches are also expected to increase in the coming years. As such breaches cost businesses billions of dollars, the requirement for data security has increased. Businesses these days have a huge amount of data and hackers are trying their best to get their hands on such sensitive information. So, it is important for businesses to take these attacks seriously and understand that attackers will not spare anyone. The best way to prevent cybersecurity attacks is by securing websites with SSL certificates.
A Secure Socket Layer certificate, well-known as an SSL certificate, helps establish secure and encrypted interactions between web browsers and servers. It makes sure that no third party can intervene in your online communications.
An SSL certificate will establish a secure network for online communication and no one can see what information is being transferred between the web server and the user’s browser. SSL certificates are mandatory for ecommerce websites and other websites that accept online payments. SSL certificates also help websites to rank better on Google search results. For example, Google says that it is important for websites to have an SSL certificate to rank on their search engine results page. This shows how important SSL certificates are for security and for higher rankings. Likewise, SSL certificates play an important role in preventing cybersecurity threats.
You can quickly differentiate between SSL-encrypted websites from those that are not encrypted. If you see a secure padlock on the left side of the URL, it means the website is SSL encrypted and the site’s URL will start with https:// and not http. Anytime you visit a website, you can check the URL to understand whether the website you are about to visit is encrypted or not.
If a website is not encrypted with an SSL certificate, it may not be able to accept online payments and search engines like Google will also display a “Not Secure” warning whenever someone tried to access that non-encrypted website. Non-SSL encrypted websites could put their visitor’s data at risk as the communications done on those sites will not be encrypted, thereby making it easy for hackers to intercept and gain access to sensitive information like a user’s password, bank details, etc.
Now let’s learn how an SSL certificate can prevent cybersecurity threats and how a business can ramp up online security with SSL.
The secure version of HTTP, HTTPS is a communication protocol that keeps all the sensitive data like your bank details, passwords, username, etc. secure and private while in transit between your web browser and the website’s server to which you are sending that data. HTTPS that uses the Transport Layer Security protocol, keeps sensitive information secure.
SSL certificates keep cybersecurity threats at bay by using three different layers of security, encryption, data integrity, and authentication.
Encryption – SSL certificates make sure all data you send from your device’s browser to the website’s server are encrypted. If at all hackers manage to get their hands on the data you sent, they will not be able to decrypt it.
Data Integrity – As hackers cannot decrypt and read the information that is transferred, it becomes close to impossible for them to modify or corrupt the data in transit. If they happen to do so, it can be detected.
Authentication – This step ensures that you communicate with the website you actually intended to communicate with. You can check for the padlock symbol in the URL bar to make sure the website is secure.
Here are the advantages of installing an SSL certificate. Let’s understand how SSL certificates protect a website user’s data from cyber-attacks.
Ecommerce websites can assure their website users that their sensitive data will be safe by installing trustworthy SSL certificates on their websites. With online shopping becoming more and more popular, people do not hesitate to provide sensitive information like their banking details online. SSL certificates give them the assurance that the website on which they are making transactions is secure and these certificates will also protect them from becoming victims of cyberattacks.
As SSL certificates encrypt online communications and ensure no third-party can access confidential information that users share online. Most SSL certificates offer 256-bit encryption, which is unbreakable and is sure to offer secure communications. Users’ personal information like contact details, banking details, etc. will be kept secure.
Search engines flag insecure websites without an SSL as not secure and display a warning message whenever a user tries to access such a website. Likewise, insecure websites will rank lower than secure websites on Google.
In general, SSL certificates secure the following.
- Sensitive user data including, username, password, address, email, contact number etc.
- Protects against identity theft
- Secures online banking transactions and account details
If you wish to secure your website and prevent your users from becoming victims of cybersecurity threats, you will have to get an SSL certificate installed on your websites. This will help your website rank better on Google and other search engines and also prevent your website from being flagged.
Higher SSL levels will protect your customers and website visitors from security attacks. The new 2058-bit SSL standard is more secure than the 1024-bit SSL standard. So, make sure you get an SSL certificate that comes with 2048-bit SSL standard for uninterrupted security and performance. Click here to know about the different types of SSL certificates.
Now that you know how an SSL certificate secures a website and its users, the next thing we recommend is to secure your website with an SSL certificate. Install an SSL certificate and make sure all web pages are served over HTTPS. However, an SSL certificate may not be just enough for overall security and you will need to consider other security measures like enforcing strong password policies, keeping your software up-to date, etc.