Intermediate SSL Certificates: Nowadays, every browser being so concerned about internet security, it may seem like you don’t need to worry about having an SSL certificate for your website. You may be completely wrong. There are browsers like Google Chrome that automatically fetches a proper intermediate to go-between. But you should never neglect browsers like Firefox that may hit or miss, causing Internet security warnings to trigger. Also, mobile browsing is very commonly used nowadays. Without properly installing intermediate SSL certificate, you are putting your site credentials as well as browser’s information at risk. Now before going further, let us first understand ‘what is intermediate SSL certificate?’
Intermediate SSL Certificate
It is a subordinate certificate, which is issued and signed by the trusted root certificate. It is signed specifically to issue end-entity server certificate. This results in a certificate chain, which begins at the trusted root Certificate Authority (issuer), through the intermediate. This certificate chain ends with the SSL certificate issued by the end-user. In simple words, proper SSL chain links certificate of an end-user to a root certificate.
Major web browsers have a list of trusted root certificates, which is the foundation of SSL certificate. This list ensures that the SSL certificate being issued is valid and trustworthy. It is important to understand that root certificate do not sign every certificate. In such a situation, intermediate certificates come into play. Intermediate certificate falls in between the root certificate and the end-user SSL certificate. It is basically used to sign SSL certificate of end-user, which is used on a website and completes the digital SSL security chain.
Importance of Intermediate SSL Certificates
In case of missing intermediate SSL certificate, various browsers act differently. Whether you are accessing for mobile devices or desktops, every browser is designed to act differently in such cases. For example:
• Google Chrome will immediately go out and fetch a missing intermediate certificate.
• Firefox will look for any saved intermediate certificate from another website or previous session.
• Sometimes Firefox triggers security warnings, in case of missing intermediate certificates.
• While browsing over mobile devices, missing intermediate certificate generates a security warning. There can be cases where browsers have issues with improper installation of intermediate certificates.
For a secure and uninterrupted session, it is best to install an Intermediate SSL Certificate.
Testing Intermediate SSL Certificate after Installation
After successfully installing SSL certificate, it is important to check whether it has been installed properly and is working as required. ‘WHY NO PADLOCK’ service can check it for you. It:
• Verifies validations of intermediate SSL certificate
• Verifies START and END DATES (checks whether the date is current and not expired)
• Verifies whether the certificate is signed by a valid CA
• Verifies the SSL chain (all the certificates including intermediate certificate are installed properly)
• Checks for allowed SSL Protocols
For the above article, it is clear that intermediate certificates are important for Internet security purposes. Every time you install an intermediate SSL certificate, make sure it is installed properly because one missing link can trigger warning and visitors may abandon your website. After installing, renewing or updating an intermediate SSL certificate, it is important to test it. Better to check than to repent.
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