SSL Certificates are an essential part of the internet. They not only encrypt communication between your computer and the server where a website is located, but they also provide verification that a site is what it claims to be. This helps users avoid phishing sites which may look very similar to a real site, but are set up to steal personal information.
SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization's details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol (over port 443) and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser.
What are the different types of SSL Certificates?
Over the last few years the number of organizations using SSL Certificates has increased dramatically. The applications for which SSL is being used have also expanded.
- Some organizations need SSL simply for confidentiality, e.g. encryption.
- Some organizations wish to use SSL to enhance trust in their security and identity, e.g. they want to show customers they have been vetted and are a legitimate organization.
As the applications for SSL have started to become wider, three types of SSL Certificates have emerged:
1) Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates:
DomainSSL offers you an economical and quick and easy to implement option for securing your website, without having to sacrifice any of the value-add features, making GlobalSign SSL Certificates unique.
DomainSSL is domain validated and fully automated, which means you’ll be able to start protecting your e-commerce, logins, webmail, blog visitors and more in just a few minutes. It activates the browser padlock and https and assures your website visitors and customers that you take their privacy seriously.
What a Domain SSL Certificate Looks Like
2) Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates:
High assurance OrganizationSSL Certificates provide instant identity confirmation and strong SSL protection for your website and business. OrganizationSSL is an organization validated certificate that gives your website a step up in credibility over domain validated SSL Certificates. It activates the browser padlock and https, shows your corporate identity, and assures your customers that you take security very seriously. Site visitors can verify that the website is operated by a legitimate company and is not an imposter site.
What an Organization SSL Certificate Looks Like
3) Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates:
ExtendedSSL is an Extended Validation Certificate, the highest class of SSL available today and lends more credibility to your website compared to using an organization or domain validated SSL Certificate. ExtendedSSL activates the green address bar and displays your organization name in the browser interface. These prominent security indicators increase user trust in your website and increase its credibility, leading to more sales conversions.
The issuance process of EV SSL Certificates is strictly defined in the EV Guidelines, as formally ratified by the CA/Browser forum in 2007, that specify all the steps required for a CA before issuing a certificate, and includes:
- Verifying the legal, physical and operational existence of the entity.
- Verifying that the identity of the entity matches official records.
- Verifying that the entity has exclusive right to use the domain specified in the EV SSL Certificate.
- Verifying that the entity has properly authorized the issuance of the EV SSL Certificate.
EV SSL Certificates are available for all types of businesses, including government entities and both incorporated and unincorporated businesses. A second set of guidelines, the EV Audit Guidelines, specify the criteria under which a CA needs to be successfully audited before issuing EV SSL Certificates. The audits are repeated yearly to ensure the integrity of the issuance process.
What an Extended SSL Certificate Looks Like
SSL Certificate Comparison Table::
|Domain SSL||Organization SSL||Extended SSL|
|Browser Displays||Browser Padlock
||Green Address Bar
|Information displayed in certificate||Verified domain name||Verified domain name
|Verified domain name
|Issuance Speed||5 minutes or less||1 - 2 business days||3 - 4 business days|
|Vetting Requirements||Right to use domain||Right to use domain and full company vetting||Rights to use domain and extended company vetting including confirming the legal, operational and physical existence.|
|Validity Period||1 - 2 years||1 - 2 years||1 - 2 years|