24 Oct

What is SSL and Why is It Important?

With a seemingly endless number of customers electing to purchase products or services online, the importance of security protocols can’t be overstated. Shoppers simply won’t buy if they lack confidence in a supplier’s site security. Today, SSL(or Secure Socket Layer) has, for quite some time, been the primary means of establishing an encrypted link between devices, generally defined as a server and a client. However, the relationships between clients and servers are becoming muddied as technologies develop.

Understanding the Definition of SSL

When trying to grasp the underlying concepts of online security, it’s important to ask what is SSL? Simply knowing it’s a technology to provide a secure link between machines is important, but it’s also important to understand the necessity for an SSL. A Secure Socket Layer is, in effect, a strategy to enhance the ubiquitous http protocol. HTTP itself is not especially secure, meaning it’s rather easy for others to intercept information being transmitted.

That’s where the newer HTTPS entered the picture. The extra “S” at the end allows consumers to know the site has taken steps to protect the content of the messages being transmitted between the client and the server. So, what is SSL? SSL is a protocol allowing individuals to feel more secure when dealing with a website.

Business Owners Need to Take Things a Little Further

Although clients may not need to grasp all the nuances of an SSL, business owners need to understand a few concepts related to keeping their websites secure. Because the very idea of an SSL is confusing to most people, business owners are strongly encouraged to work closely with experts to establish security protocols for their sites and keep those security measures up to date.

Hosting experts can easily help clients determine whether or not their sites are secure. A simple SSL test, for example, will quickly determine if vulnerabilities exist that undermine a site’s security.

Securing a Site Does Not Need to Be Difficult

Because security is an absolute requirement for websites engaged in any types of financial transactions, the availability of software solutions designed to provide secure connections is now readily available. In fact, open SSL software is available to make the securing communications between online merchants and clients. The open-source software is constantly being upgraded to deal with evolving security issues.

Who Needs It?

Any business accepting credit or debit card information (or any other form of confidential data) must have SSL technology in place to protect both clients and themselves. Banks, insurance companies, and virtually any other business conducting business online will typically need to utilize SSL technology. While no one wants to think their data can be compromised, it’s entirely possible it will happen if an opportunity presents itself. Compromised data can quickly sour the relationships between companies and their clients.

With so much emphasis now placed on the growing online marketplace, the need for maintaining consumer confidence is not likely to lessen in the future. That means every website owner must be cognizant of their site’s vulnerabilities and take steps to mitigate security issues.

The Needs are Changing

No matter how secure a system is, eventually someone will find a way to breach it. That’s why security protocols are constantly being improved. Today, for example, TLS, an enhanced version of SSL, is frequently being used as it adds new features to make system security protocols more robust. So again, what is SSL? It is an ever-changing strategy to make sure both merchants and clients are protected when engaging in everyday business transactions.

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