What is SSL?
SSL (Security Socket Layer) is an internet security technology that makes the online data more secure. It establishes an encrypted link between internet browser and server to ensure the secure communication of information to the final destination. Websites that have an SSL standard are capable of keeping the transactions more secure. Hence, they succeed in gaining the interest of customers.
Importance of SSL and Vulnerability of Websites
SSL is in fact industry standard for online security of websites. Before knowing why it is important for websites to have an SSL certificate, let’s have a look at what makes websites more vulnerable.
Interacting and communicating through cyberspace is easy but equally challenging. Sharing useful information and data through the internet has a risk of security breach. An email, message, or any bit of communication, passes through many computers before reaching the final destination. This means that so many persons are capable of viewing the same information, irrespective of the fact that how private or important it is.
Unencrypted details, we send through web servers is vulnerable to theft. Information, which is not encrypted with some standard security lock, is readable to many individuals. One has to bear in mind that communication between a sender and receiver involves multi-channels. In the internet world, information always passes through some third person, before reaching the receiver. So, the vulnerability of data exposure to some irrelevant party exists.
What SSL does?
SSL locks sensitive information through encryption. It is an industry standard and makes the data secure through an encryption link, while it passes from browser to the server. In order to create an SSL connection, web server asks for SSL certificate.
Obtaining SSL certificate is quite simple process. When websites choose to activate SSL they have to answer questions about their identity, that authorities ask them. After this there receive two cryptographic keys; one is personal key, and other is a private key.
Next process is the Certificate Signing Request (CSR); here websites are required to place the public key, which is an easy task. Because there is no need to keep this key any secret. A data file containing the details of websites is also needed for submitting CSR. Later, CSR authorities validate information and detail they provide. In the last step, web server matches SSL certificate to the private key. Finally, when all the process gets completed, and details match, the web server would allow the communication of encrypted information.
What is the benefit of encrypting data with SSL?
Websites need to pass sensitive information through them; these can include the passwords, debit card, and credit card details, user names and other information that users would like to keep secret. If websites don’t have any SSL certificate, then they can’t protect this information from potential vulnerabilities. Systems and persons that come between a web browser and web server are likely to see all this information.
An SSL certificate allows the websites to encrypt the sensitive details. Hence, no one can see them while they are on their way to reach their target.
Users get to know whether a website is secured with SSL certificate or not by seeing at a green lock that appears in the top bar of the browser. They can’t see entire encryption process, but indicator lock on top is enough to make them feel safe.
Which websites must use SSL?
Every single website that deals with sensitive information should have an SSL certificate. But the need is more for e-commerce websites. Online platforms that run businesses and deal in trade of commodities and services have to use details like credit card and debit card information. If customers feel that entering data on this particular e-commerce website is no safe, they would never choose to buy from there. Further, green lock or indicator on top would tell them if the website is safe or not. Hence, e-commerce websites must have any SSL certificate.
Necessity of SSL secured websites in emerging e-commerce markets
In Arab countries, especially Oman there is huge potential for the growth of e-commerce. Growing businesses need to make sure that they have a secure online presence. Even if their websites don’t require sensitive information like credit card details, then still there is need of security. Because pages like contact US also require entering usernames or passwords. Customers, upon not seeing the security indicator on the top bar of the browser, would choose to exit the websites.
Oman which is home to 4.4 million people has the huge propagation of internet technology, but e-commerce business is still in developing stages. Businesses need to make sure that providing users with useful information through online portals is not sufficient. They should focus on offering a safe and secure experience by complying with industry standards. In this way, they can turn e-commerce and propagate internet technology more useful.