SSL certificate is a small data file that helps in binding cryptographic key to details of an organization. Upon installation, it activates the padlock and https//: protocol that ensures a secure connection between the browser and the web server. If any web address is not secured using SSL certificate, upon transferring information (which is in readable form) through the Internet, the data can be seen and misused by anyone.
SSL certificate establishes an encrypted link in an online communication between the server and the browser. To create SSL connection, SSL certificate is mandatory. SSL certificate is issued either to companies operating online or to legally accountable individuals. To be able to activate SSL certificate, a business owner needs to provide details about the identity of his website and the business, such as domain name, the name of the business, physical address (including the name of the city & country) etc. Once the certificate is uploaded, two cryptographic keys are created; these are a Private Key and a Public key. These keys are used to encrypt and decrypt data, thus provide security to data that is being transferred over the web.
There are a variety of SSL certificates available in the market but it is important to opt for an authorized certificate as it provides critical identity assurance that is important to establish trust between business and client. When dealing with e-commerce, a business must address to minimize risk and provide a secure way of collecting data from the client. When purchasing products and services online, a customer submits details like credit card number, phone number etc. These details should be retrieved in a secure and integrated manner. For this, business should implement a complete e-commerce trust infrastructure based on encrypted technology.
Encryption is a process of converting data to make it unintelligible to all unauthorized parties except the one who is an intended recipient. In this way, data integrity and data privacy can be maintained which has become essential for e-commerce. In simple words, we can say that encryption technology is used to convert data into a non-readable form and secure it from unauthorized parties and is received by the intended recipient in intelligible form. Main responsibilities performed by encryption technology are:
To put data(file) into code
Changing data into unreadable form (unintelligible) using secret code
To prevent accurate interpretation of data by the third party
What SSL certificate encrypted security provides?
This can be explained in two parts. The first part is server authentication and another is client authentication. Let’s discuss them one by one in detail.
• Server authentication: Server along with data transfers public key, which is used by the client to encrypt data used to compute the secret key. The server can decrypt data and generate a secret key only if it has a valid private key.
• Client authentication: In this, the server uses the public key, provided in client’s certificate, to decrypt data sent by the client. If the exchange of message is complete by using a secret key to encrypt, it confirms the authentication.
If in any case authentication step fails or is not complete, the session is terminated between the browser and the server.
To ensure message privacy, SSL uses a combination of symmetric and asymmetric encryption. For every session, a unique set of encryption algorithm and a shared secret key is used, ensuring the privacy of message even in case of interception.