In order to safely transmit information online, a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate provides the encryption of sensitive data, including financial and healthcare. A SSL certificate verifies the identity of a website, allowing web browsers to display a secure website.
Especially important with cloud infrastructures, an SSL certificate is a special piece of software that can encrypt data moving between two or more endpoints, such as from a browser to a server containing an application or website.
How does it work?
When a browser attempts to connect to a website that is secured with an SSL, it requests that the web server identify itself. The server sends its SSL certificate and the browser checks it. After verifying its certificate, it will send a message to the server to allow access and start sharing encrypted data securely between the server and the browser.
When an encrypted information-sharing session is started, a padlock icon will appear in the web browser address bar to signify the identification of a secure website with a valid SSL certificate.
Why use it?
Any organization with a web server that needs to be secured, anyone that collects personal or financial information and ecommerce companies need to use an SSL certificate to secure online transactions and/or data exchange.
If you store, collect or transmit credit cardholder data, you need to meet PCI DSS compliance standards. Many e-commerce applications are hosted in the cloud, and accessed by web browsers, making SSL certificates essential to security.
If you store, collect or transmit patient health information, you need to meet HIPAA compliance standards. An SSL certificate should meet the U.S. government’s AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard) for the encryption of electronic data, as approved by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology).
What are the benefits?
- Protects against online phishing attacks (attempts to collect personal and financial information by posing as a credible website).
- Gain credibility and consumer trust with a visibly secure website