The prevalence of cybersecurity threats has called for the need for serious investments in cybersecurity measures and tools. The internet is not safe anymore. Organizations need to rise and install proper cybersecurity measures to ensure that their data is protected. Although there is no foolproof cybersecurity tool or strategy, the SSL certificate has proved to be one of the perfect security protocols that every website must have. This article examines the benefits of SSL certificates on cybersecurity.
SSL Certificate as a Solution
One of the most vital tools that every organization and business should invest in is the SSL certificate. A cybersecurity strategy that does not encompass the essence of an SSL certificate is null and void. Previously, organizations that have fallen victim to data breaches are those that did not have an SSL certificate.
Perhaps this explains why most organizations are on the run to acquire and install an SSL certificate on their website. According to Google’s Transparency Report, most pages (89%) that loaded on the chrome browser in January 2021 were served by the HTTPS protocol. We will learn more about SSL certificates and their significance in protecting your organization against cybersecurity threats in the next segment.
What is an SSL Certificate?
If you are a keen internet user, you might have noticed that some websites’ addresses start with HTTP. In contrast, other addresses start with HTTPS—the difference is the one letter S, which is a very significant difference. HTTP is an internet transfer protocol that enables the movement of data and digital resources from web servers to web visitors in plain text.
When HTTP is blended with an SSL certificate, it yields a secure transfer protocol called HTTPS, which stands for Hypertext transfer protocol secure.
An SSL certificate stands for Secure Socket Layer certificate. The certificate is responsible for encryption roles. Encryption means that all the communications and data transfers between website servers and users’ browsers will not be transmitted in plain text but a ciphertext. In a layman’s explanation, the data is converted into a gibberish format that intruders cannot decipher.
Therefore, the SSL certificate masks data, safeguarding it from malicious intruders who might want to tamper with its quality, steal sensitive information, or alter its intended meaning. However, different type of SSL certificates is available in the market ranging from single domain to wildcard SSL certificate and Code Signing also. All SSLs are made for different purposes. In this rising threat environment, SSL certificates remain a pivotal element of every website security strategy.
Why Do You Need an SSL Certificate?
Several benefits come with having an SSL certificate. Security is just one of the benefits. The following are the benefits that your website will get when you install an SSL certificate.
1. Identity Authentication
One of the primary reasons you need to install an SSL certificate on your website is that it helps with website authentication. Usually, SSL certificates are acquired from Certificate Authorities. Before a Certificate Authority issues an SSL certificate, it must first ensure that the person requesting the certificate is fully authenticated.
The validation procedure is intended to ensure that the person acquiring the website is not a hacker who might be after creating a deceptive website. As such, the SSL certificate helps to protect users against such as phishing attacks, MiTM attacks.
2. Website Security
I have already explained the implication of the SSL certificate on website security. websites that do not have an SSL certificate are usually marked as “insecure.” The SSL certificates ensure that data and communications are secure through encryption.
Through the HTTPS protocol, all communication and data transfers between website servers and website visitors will be encrypted (converted into a ciphertext.) To convert the ciphertext back to its original form, one will need a decryption key, referred to as the private key. Only the rightful recipient owns the private key.
3. Secure Online Transactions
Internet fraud has been growing at an alarming pace. The bar graph below illustrates the various forms of internet fraud.
The SSL certificate can be used to address transactional frauds issues. SSL protects sensitive customer details such as credit card information and debit card numbers. It also helps to keep online transactions completely anonymous such that they cannot be deciphered or intercepted by malicious intruders.
4. Increase Customer Trust
Customer trust is one of the essential business success factors that every business owner must achieve. The SSL certificate can help you achieve customer trust. Usually, customers want to ensure that your website is dedicated to ensuring that their sensitive data are protected from any form of cybersecurity threats.
Without adequate security, you will lose customers’ trust, which might negatively impact your eCommerce store’s success. But how does an SSL certificate help to gain your customer trust?
Websites with an SSL certificate will have some trust indicators. The HTTPS and the padlock icon symbolize that your website is secure from any cybersecurity threats. Users look for these symbols to find out whether your website is secure.
A secure website makes your visitors have confidence while browsing through your website. The SSL certificate helps with customer trust and increases users’ confidence, thereby optimizing the user experience.
5. SSL Boost search engine rankings
One of the most crucial factors that determine the success of any website is whether the site is visible. There is no point in having a site that does rank in search engine results pages. Most website owners strain too much by spending millions of dollars to boost their rank in search engine results pages. They forget the low-hanging SEO fruits that the SSL certificate presents.
Google and other search engines are dedicated to ensuring that the internet is safe. As a result, search engines are now using the presence of the SSL certificate as one of the key ranking factors. Previous studies have pointed out a slightly positive correlation between the HTTPS protocol and high rankings in search engine results pages.
6. Protect Warnings
Web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome usually mark HTTP websites as “Not Secure.” The warning gives anxiety to web visitors, making them abandon your website and visit competitors’ websites. Such increases your website’s bounce rates. You sure do not want this for your website. The only remedy to this is to install an SSL certificate.
How Much Will an SSL Certificate Cost You?
SSL certificates are not as expensive as most website owners think. Several cheap SSL certificates on the market will effectively secure your websites against cybersecurity threats. The most important thing is to ensure that you only acquire the SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority. Some of the leading certificate providers that you should consider are.
- Comodo SSL
- Entrust Data card
As we discussed above that different websites require different type of SSL certificate. For example, to secure multiple domains, you need a multi domain SSL certificate and to secure unlimited first level of subdomains, you need a wildcard SSL certificate. There are multiple providers who offer low price deal for SSL certificate and you can get affordable or cheap SSL wildcard in case if your website requires unlimited subdomains’ security.
SSL certificates are critical website companions for any website owner who has website security at heart. Apart from ensuring that your sensitive data and customers’ sensitive data are safe from intrusion, the SSL also has benefits such as improving SEO ranks and boosting customer trust. This article has explained some of the reasons why you need an SSL certificate.