Businesses are continuing to be more reliant on their website to communicate with their audience. Most companies are also using the website to get new leads. The web servers store a treasure trove of client information. There has also been an increase in the number of hacking attempts to get hold of this information.
Studies show that there is a hacking attempt every 39 seconds. A data breach can lead to severe penalties by government agencies apart from lawsuits. Therefore, businesses must install an SSL certificate to ensure the security and integrity of the stored data as this will encrypt the in-transit communication between the web browser and the client-server. We will discuss some of the tips on choosing the best SSL certificate for your website.
What is an SSL certificate?
When you visit a website, you must have noticed the padlock on the address bar. It shows that the website you are visiting has installed an SSL certificate and is secure. It allows your website to use a secure HTTPS protocol and ensure the protection of the data in transit. Furthermore, it can ensure that the communication exchanged with the browser is encrypted. Hence, only the desired recipient can decipher the communication.
ECommerce websites must install an SSL certificate for data security. Moreover, the PCI-DSS guidelines mandate that these websites install the certificate to secure online transactions through the website. The certificate also authenticates the company that owns it. The visitors can have an idea of who they are interacting with and find out details about certificate validity easily.
How does the SSL certificate work?
The SSL works using the Public Key Infrastructure that uses a pair of two keys. When a user connects to the website, it requests the server's public key and provides its private key. Thus, it will help both parties encrypt and exchange information that the intended recipient can read.
When the visitor wishes to send a message to the server, it uses the public key for encrypting the information. The server will receive the communication and decrypt it through the private key. Of course, messages can be sent back too.
Different Types of eCommerce SSL Certificates
There are several eCommerce certificates, but you must select one that is essential for you. Next, we will discuss the various types of certificates available for you.
Level of authentication. Different certificates have a varied level of authentication by the Certificate Authority.
Domain Validation (DV) certificates:
These certificates only validate the ownership of the domain. The sensitive data of the clients will be secure and is ideal for smaller websites. The visitor will not know the entity behind the domain.
Organization Validation (OV) certificates:
It provides 256-bit encryption levels and ensures a higher authentication level. The CA will validate the information through the government registry databases. It will also check the presence in the locality, and there will be a telephone verification too. There can be a final verification too.
Extended Validation (EV) certificates:
These certificates are provided after the highest level of validation. The users can quickly go through the details of the certificate if they want. You must fill an enrolment form, and the CA undertakes a validation of the physical operations and assesses whether your business has operational existence. The company must be a registered legal entity, and adequate documents must be provided.
You can also select the certificates based on the number of digital assets you wish to secure.
Single domain SSL certificate: It will secure only one domain or subdomain.
Wildcard SSL certificate: These certificates will secure several first-level sub-domains and the chosen primary domain.
Multi-domain SSL certificate: It will allow you to secure several domains along with the sub-domains together through a single certificate.
Factors to consider when choosing an SSL certificate
You must understand the needs of the business and then select the best SSL certificate that suits your bespoke needs. We are enlisting the factors to consider before buying the SSL certificate.
The level of validation needed.
You must check the validation level you will need to secure your data. If you store financial information too, it is suggested to go for an EV validation certificate. It will provide the highest level of trust for your visitors and then undertake financial transactions on your website without fear.
The number of domains you must secure.
Your IT team must have a collated list of the digital assets they must secure. It will help them assess the certificate they will need to secure all the domains together. The type of certificate suitable for your business will depend on the number of domains and subdomains you must secure. Collating and securing all the digital web assets together will help them in easier certificate management.
The reputation of the CA.
When choosing the best SSL certificate for your business, always do a background check of the CA you are choosing. The renowned CAs will have a robust infrastructure to do the background check of the companies within a short time.
Time to issue the certificate.
Some of the certificates can take a long time to be issued. Again, the issuance time may vary a bit across the various CAs. You can do a short research and determine whether the issuance time associated with a certificate is within your limits. However, do not compromise on the type of certificate you will need to secure all your web assets.
The warranty amount.
You will find that the renowned CAs provide a warranty amount as a safeguard against any untoward event. The amount increases as the level of validation rises. You must also check the amount associated with each CA as it can vary as well.
The level of customer support associated with the product is also an essential factor. It will come in handy when you face any issue. Check the support levels associated, i.e., whether the executives are available over chat, email, or phone and when they will be available.
When other factors remain the same, you can make the selection based on the price. A multi-year plan can be helpful to save money, but you must have the certificate re-issued every year. You may choose a RapidSSL certificate that provides the best encryption technology at the cheapest price.
ECommerce businesses must secure their in-transit communications by installing an SSL certificate. The IT team must consider several factors before installing the certificate. These are essential factors that must be considered, but the team must also have the full details of the web assets that must be secured.