SSL is known as Secure Socket Layer. Which is used in almost all modern websites for Encryption purposes to safeguard user data.it is commonly denoted as HTTPS where S stands for SSL. SSL Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a protocol developed by Netscape
Communications Corporation and was invented by Taher Elgamal who was chief scientist at Netscape Communications Corporation.
SSL Certificate is a type of Security certificate issued by an authorized Certificate Authority that verifies the identity of the webserver, it is like a message which is scrambled while transmission so that other message intruders like hackers cannot
view the information. SSL ensures transmitted data stays private between client and
server. This protocol enables the client to authenticate the identity of the server, SSL is an industry-standard protocol that is used by several websites for protecting their online transaction credentials with their customers. in simple words, SSL Certificate is a
method of securing data transaction which happens between a client’s Web Browser and Server. It is handled only by the server-side to protect important information of the user who is using the website on a secure browser, Important information such as username, password, and payment credentials are kept in a scrambled form so that it is not visible to anyone and it is tightly protected. It is commonly denoted as https://example.com and
non-SSL certificates are in HTTP format.
Why SSL certificate?
SSL certificate is proof that the publisher of the website uses top-notch security to protect user data and ensure the user that the website is secure to surf and his/her data is very safe with the website. SSL certificate plays an important role in building trust between a user and the website organization. For this assurance purpose, an SSL certificate is invented. it is like a doctor hanging his degree in his clinic that he is qualified to treat his patients. For example, Bill is a Customer of a trading platform called upstox. Bill is accessing his trading account on the upstox platform using upstox trading website now whenever he tries to buy or sell his stocks his sensitive credentials like bank account or debit/credit card details are exposed on the upstox website which can be infiltrated by a
hacker to protect this data an SSL certificate is required.
How much does an SSL certificate cost?
SSL is priced as per the usage purpose of the website organization. SSL cost is controlled annually by an organization called Certification Authority it can be used for free for a year
when a user purchases the hosting plan and is also sold on a subscription basis usually renewed.
There are different types of SSL Certificates they are as Follows;
- Single Domain SSL Certificate
This SSL certificate protects only one domain and subdomain in its
hierarchy. For example, if one manages multiple domains such as
example.com, blog.example.com, and app.example.com, only one of
these can be protected.
This type of certificate can be purchased for $5 per year.
- Multiple-Domain SSL Certificate
This certificate can protect any of your different domains and
subdomains. For example, you can purchase coverage for
one.example.com, two.example.com, and sample.com — all through
the same SSL certificate.
This SSL certificate is priced from $60 per year.
- Wildcard SSL Certificate
This SSL certificate protects a domain and all other first-level
subdomains. For example, you can protect not just sample.com, but also
blog.example.com, app.example.com, and other subdomains.
This SSL certificate is priced from $30 per year.
- Domain validation (DV)
This is fast and direct validation in which the only thing verified is
your ownership of the domain name.
This is suitable for website owners who do not require any personal
details from visitors and is usually issued within minutes.
A DV certificate is priced at around $70 per year.
- Organization validation (OV)
After the certificate authority has checked your domain ownership as
well as basic details of the organization. the OV SSL certificate is
issued. Such as its name and location. An OVL SSL certificate
provides a greater level of assurance than domain validation.
Price of an OV certificate is around $150 per year.
- Extended Validation (EV)
These certificates are issued after checking the physical and legal
existence of the organization, in addition to DV and OV.
It is the most laborious level of validation, and hence carries the
highest degree of trust and credibility and cost.
The cost of an EV is $200 per year.
How does SSL certificate validation work?
- When a user starts to browse the website of his interest the Web browser attempts to connect to a website secured with SSL. The request from the browser is sent to the webserver to identify itself.
- If the authentication process is validated successfully then the server sends the browser a copy of its SSL Certificate.
- The browser checks whether to trust the SSL certificate. If the result is positive than the message is sent to the server.
- Then the server sends an electronically signed acknowledgment to start an SSL encrypted session.
- Encoded data is shared between the web browser and the server.
What will happen if the SSL certificate expires?
An SSL certificate needs to be renewed between 30 to 60 days before expiration. Because the updating of the SSL certificate on the server takes time. When the SSL you are using gets expired your data can get compromised and there is the chance of sensitive data leaking for both the website and the user which affects the authentication process.
As a result, both your website and users are vulnerable to attacks and viruses. For example, a hacker may take advantage of a website with an expired SSL certificate and create a fake website identical to it.
How does an SSL certificate work between client and server?
Here let us assume the webserver belongs to yahoo.
Step 1: When a Browser requests secure pages(HTTPS) from a yahoo web server
Step 2: The Server Sends its Public key with its SSL certificate which is digitally signed by a third party certificate, Which we may call
Certificate Authority or simply CA.
Step 3: Once our browser gets the certificate, it will check to make sure the certificate is valid as we know a digital signature is created by a CA’s Private Key and our browser either chrome or firefox is previously installed with many major CA’s public keys. Thus digital signature can be verified once the certificate of signature is verified by the digital certificate and can be trusted. Then a green little padlock icon appears in the address bar. The green padlock simply indicates that the web server’s public key belongs to the webserver, not someone else verification is done.
step 4: Now its time to exchange a secret that is our browser creates one symmetric key or a shared secret it keeps one and gives a copy to the web server, However, my browser does not want to send the shared secret in plain text. Henceforth, it uses the web server’s public key to encrypt the data, and then sends it to the webserver.
Step 5: when the webserver gets the encoded symmetric key, it uses its private key to decrypt it. Then web server gets the browser’s shared key. From now on all the traffic between the client and the webserver will be encrypted and decrypted with the same key. That is the asymmetric key.
Benefits of SSL
- The browser can block the client if the SSL certificate is expired or it is not present. The website gives a warning message as “Your connection is not private”, Which will alert the web user to leave the website.
- Increased trust With Visitors, When a user visits the site with an SSL certified batch i.e HTTPS he feels secure and he can carry out sensitive transactions which build trust between the visitor and the web-server.
- SEO benefits, from 2014 google announced that Websites with SSL certificates are ranked higher in the search results giving the web-server boost in visits and further increasing their profits.
- Increased Security, with websites having HTTPS being termed safe for accepting any payments. SSL certificates protect against spamming the information between
user and server by keeping information encrypted. So even if hackers intercept the network they will see a scrambled message which is in encrypted form.
To Conclude modern websites must require SSL certificates to carry out their day-to-day tasks efficiently on a secured network. Hence SSL is very much needed for both client and web-Server for effective transmission of data, trust, and safeguarding against malicious
If you are looking for a Shared Hosting with Free SSL then I would recommend using VCCLHosting which provides servers with NVMe/SSD Storage, Free SSL, and More Features.