Microsoft Exchange Server & SSL Certificates: Everything you need to know

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A Comprehensive Guide to SSL Certificates for Microsoft Exchange Server

Microsoft Exchange Server’s versions preceding Exchange Server 2007 didn’t require an SSL certificate or an HTTPS connection. Because of the lack of end-to-end encryption, attackers found it easy to creep into ongoing data transportation. This meant that they could access super sensitive information. It needed to be stopped and that is exactly what Microsoft did by making SSL necessary for Exchange Server 2007. Since then, every version of Exchange Server launched requires an SSL certificate and HTTPS for encryption.

microsoft exchange server ssl certificate encryption

SSL Certificates for Exchange Server: A Brief Introduction

Microsoft Exchange Server is one of the most extensively acknowledged mail servers globally. Developed by Microsoft, Exchange Server released a long way back in 1993. You would be surprised to know that the first version of Exchange Server was launched to manage mail communications within Microsoft itself. Launched in 1996, Exchange Server 4.0 was the first version to be sold to the general public. Since then, seven versions of Exchange Server have been launched and it continues to serve as one of the leading mail servers worldwide.

  • Exchange Server 4.0
  • Exchange Server 5.5
  • Exchange Server 2000
  • Exchange Server 2003
  • Exchange Server 2007
  • Exchange Server 2010
  • Exchange Server 2013
  • Exchange Server 2016
  • Exchange Server 2019

Only systems running on Windows operating systems can operate Microsoft Exchange Server. Microsoft Exchange Server is available in the form of on-premise software as well as Software as a Service(SaaS).

Is it mandatory to employ SSL Certificate on Exchange Server?

It would have been a straight NO, had this question been asked 10-15 years back. Not anymore. In fact, it is a straightforward YES, these days. Gone are the days when you needed to rush to the office to see an important email. In the age of cut-throat competition, never-ending communication has an astounding impact as far as the efficiency of an organization is concerned. But as Richelle Mead says, “Most good things come with the risk of something bad.” Here, the risk comes in the form of man-in-themiddle (MITM) attacks. Here, MITM refers to the interception and tampering of information being transmitted between two parties. The emails being transferred to an organization may include profoundly confidential information, leaking of which can have a glaring negative impact on the organization. To counter this possible menace, SSL certificates play a major role. Having an SSL certificate installed on the Exchange Server thwarts any possible attempt of data interference and data-tampering.

UCC SSL: An absolute solution for Exchange server security

Microsoft provides a bunch of host services such as Outlook App/Web, Auto-Discover, ActiveSync, Pop3, SMTP etc. Anytime sensitive information is being transferred the risk of that information being intercepted and leaked rises. As a result, SSL certificates are required to defend all the sensitive information against any potential cyber-attack. Managing several SSL certificates for each service proves to be an exhausting and certainly an expensive option. To counteract these disadvantages, UCC (Unified Communication Certificate) or SAN (Subject Alternative Name) SSL certificates make an exceptional choice.

Having a UCC SSL certificate installed on your server, means you don’t need to install individual SSL certificates for every single domain. It results in a much more simplified process as you can easily manage numerous host services as well as domains with a single SSL certificate without making a large dent in your pocket.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

UCC SSL certificate authorities suggested by Microsoft

To secure communication between an Exchange Server and the Internet, Microsoft has endorsed several certificate authorities (CA’s) as its partners. Several certificate authorities (CA’s) have established special websites only for the Exchange Server. These sites help the users by providing documentation for the services under Exchange Server. Here are some of the certificate authorities (CA’s) suggested by Microsoft which offers the UCC SSL Certificate for Exchange Servers.

  • Comodo
  • Symantec
  • GeoTrust
  • Thawte

Recommended Exchange SSL Certificates; UCC/SAN Certificates for MS Exchange 07/10/13/16/19

By now, you know why UCC/SAN SSL certificates represent a great option for the Exchange Server. The next question is, Which Microsoft Exchange Server SSL Certificate is the best for me? Well, we have tried to make this crucial choice easy for you. The below given list is applicable to all the versions of MS Exchange. So, whether you’re looking for Exchange 2010 SSL certificate or 2013 or 2016 or even 2019, this list will work for you like a charm.

Buy Comodo Positive Multi-Domain SSL at $18 Per Year – 89% Off

Top Exchange SSL Certificates from Top SSL Brands

Brand comodo Comodo geotrust comodo
Product Name ComodoComodo Unified Communication UCC SSL ComodoComodo Multi Domain Wildcard SSL GeotrustTrue BusinessID Multi Domain SSL ComodoComodo DV UCC SSL Certificate
Price for 1 year Comodo$130.00 Comodo$189.00 Geotrust$155.00 Comodo$119.00
Price for 2 years Comodo$114.00 Comodo$169.00 Geotrust$136.00 Comodo$104.00
Price for 3 years Comodo$108.33 Comodo$157.50 Geotrust$129.00 Comodo$99.17
Price for 4 years Comodo$105.63 Comodo$153.56 Geotrust$125.94 Comodo$96.69
Price for 5 years Comodo$101.92 Comodo$250.10 GeotrustN/A Comodo$93.30
Multiple year options ComodoYes ComodoYes GeotrustYes ComodoYes
Free SAN included 2 Free SAN 2 Free SAN 4 Free SAN 2 Free SAN
Domains secured ComodoSecurity for Up to 250 Domains ComodoSecurity for Up to 250 Domains & their unlimited sub-domains GeotrustSecurity for Up to 250 Domains ComodoSecurity for Up to 250 Domains
Issuance speed Comodo1-3 Days ComodoWithin Minutes Geotrust1-3 Days ComodoWithin Minutes
Validation required ComodoStandard Business Validation ComodoDomain Validation SSL GeotrustStandard Business Validation ComodoDomain Validation SSL
Notification level in browsers ComodoHTTPS + Business Name in Site Seal ComodoHTTPS only GeotrustHTTPS + Business Name in Site Seal ComodoHTTPS
Encryption strength Comodo256-bit Comodo256-bit Geotrust256 Bit Comodo256-bit
Browser compatibility Comodo99% Comodo99% Geotrust99% Comodo99%
Includes site seal Comodo
Comodo Site Seal
Comodo Site Seal
GeoTrust Site Seal
Comodo Site Seal
Daily malware scanning ComodoNo ComodoNo GeotrustNo ComodoNo
Free vulnerability assessment ComodoNo ComodoNo GeotrustNo ComodoNo
Reissue ComodoUnlimited – Till Certificate Life span ComodoUnlimited – Till Certificate Life span GeotrustUnlimited – Till Certificate Life span ComodoUnlimited – Till Certificate Life span
Server license ComodoUnlimited ComodoUnlimited GeotrustUnlimited ComodoUnlimited
Support options ComodoYes ComodoYes GeotrustYes ComodoYes
Compatible with Exchange Server ComodoYes ComodoYes GeotrustYes ComodoYes
Compatible with Office Communication Server ComodoYes ComodoYes GeotrustYes ComodoYes
Warranty Comodo$250,000 Comodo$1,250,000 GeoTrust$1,250,000 Comodo$25,000
Refund policy Comodo15 Days Comodo15 Days GeoTrust15 Days Comodo15 Days
ComodoRead More ComodoRead More GeoTrustRead More ComodoRead More

So, what are you waiting for? Install these UCC certificates for exchange and enhance your Exchange 07/10/13/16 security.

SSL Installation Guide for Exchange Server

The next crucial step in line after making a purchase is to install the certificate on the Exchange Server. Here is our step-by-step guide for SSL installation on Exchange Server.

SSL tools for SSL management

The SSL installation process can cause you a headache if you don’t have proper SSL tools. On our site, you can find the SSL tools which will make the SSL installation and management as easy as pie.

  • SSL Checker Tool: This tool helps you verify if an SSL certificate has been installed correctly or not. The SSL Checker displays the certificate chaining, server type, Common Name, issuer, along with additional certificate details.
  • CSR Generation Tool: Easily generate a CSR using this tool.
  • CSR Decoder Tool: This tool assists you to check CSRs. You can view the information contained within them.
  • SSL Converter Tool: Some of the servers require the SSL certificate to be in a format different to its original format. This tool allows you to convert the format of any SSL Certificate.
  • Certificate Decoder Tool: You can quickly decode an SSL certificate using this tool. This tool can decode PFX, DER, or PEM files.
  • Certificate Key Matcher: This tool verifies whether a private key or CSR file matches an SSL certificate. The certificate will stop working in case of any mismatch.

Final words for Exchange SSL Certificates

In any organization, most of the communication is carried out via emails. Those emails may include highly discreet data. Hence, having an SSL certificate is now obligatory. As far as the Microsoft Exchange Servers are concerned, installing UCC/SAN SSL certificate is a no-brainer. With our installation guide and SSL tools by your side, you shouldn’t face any problems installing and managing your SSL certificate.

What Else You Should Know About Multi-Domain SSL Certificates? Read Important Blog Updates

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This entry was posted in SSL Certificates by Mit Gajjar. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mit Gajjar

I have been working as SSL security expert for 6 years and i have assisted to plenty of users to solve their technical issues while installation of SSL certificates on their web servers. It’s really great experience working with Platinum Partner Company CheapSSLSecurity to offer the most reliable SSL certificate security solution on the internet. Being Platinum Partner Company of Symantec, GeoTrust Thawte, Comodo, and RapidSSL, CheapSSLSecurity offers the cheapest SSL certificates security on the internet which starts at just only $3.20/yr.