Security attacks have become diversified and more sophisticated than ever before. A simple antivirus software is inadequate to keep your website secure from cyber security attacks. Furthermore, there is also the question of trust. Your customers won’t pay for your products unless your website shows adequate trustworthiness.
All this boils down to one thing. Equip your website with an SSL certificate. It is the simplest and established to ensure security in the web environment.
But, picking an SSL certificate is not like picking a product off the shelf. There is no one-size-fits-all concept in the SSL domain. Depending on your business requirement and what level of security it requires, the choice of SSL certificate will also vary.
The SSL certificate that a personal blogger needs will be far different from the requirements of an eCommerce store, or a bank or a enterprise website.
So, how does one pick an SSL certificate that best suits their security requirements? We explain it in words below:
Where does your domain stand in terms of ownership? Is it a registered domain or an unregistered one? If your`s is an unregistered domain, then there is some bad news. Since November 2015 Certificate Authorities (CAs) have stopped issuing SSL certificates to unregistered domains. Domain registration and ownership have in turn become the primary aspects that CAs look into before ensuring the SSL issue-worthiness of a website.
No, you cannot get an SSL certificate for an internal server name under an unregistered domain. This is because the CA cannot establish the ownership of an internal server name without the knowing the credentials of the parent domain that owns it.
But, there is a way out. You can always opt for SSL certificates to secure information exchange between your internal servers (but, not with external ones!). Self-signed certificates can certificate do not require the kind of extensive checking that other SSL certificates require.
So, if you want to secure internal servers or pages but do not want elaborate processes, a self-signed or Intranet SSL certificate is the right choice.
Level of Trust/Security
On a broad scale, all SSL certificates provide an equal amount of security. It is the level of identity information that they render that differs from type to type. For instance, EV (Extended Validation) SSL certificates and DV (Domain Validation) SSL certificates provide different scale of information about a website.
While Extended Validation SSL certificates establish the original owner of the website with a green padlock symbol and address bar, Domain Validation SSL certificates merely establish the ownership, and that only if the user clicks on the certificate to view its details. An EV SSL certificate displays the brand information by default.
What difference does it make? For eCommerce websites, banks, financial services, etc. customers need a higher level of assurance that they are parting their sensitive private and financial information with a website owned by the entity itself. To prove that brand identity and domain ownership, an Extended Validation SSL Certificate are recommended. An DV (Domain Validation) SSL certificate suffices only if it is a personal blog where security is the focus point and not establishing brand identity.
Count of Domains
The count of domains that you want to secure with an SSL certificate determines the choice of your SSL certificate. If you want to secure just one domain, use a Standard or Single-domain SSL Certificate. If you have multiple domains to secure, you can go for an multi-domain SSL certificates. Again, you can choose a DV, OV or EV SSL certificate depending on the level of trust/security that you wish to have for your domain.
If you are managing multiple sub-domain in a single domain and that you want to secure, or if the number of sub-domains is going to increase in the near future, it is ideal to choose a Wildcard SSL certificate. A Wildcard SSL certificate allows you to secure your primary domain and its unlimited sub-domain using a special character (usually ‘*’).
Speed of Issuance
How far do you want your SSL certificate? Right away with minimal verification or as long as it takes to do a thorough verification from scratch to end. Basic SSL certificates can be obtained immediately because the verification process are done by automated system and no human verification process are involved.
However, with an EV SSL certificate, the verification process is too deep including verification and submission of paperwork. As a result, it can take anywhere from few days to a week (or even more in some cases) for the EV SSL certificate to be issued.
The checking process will include comparing the applicant’s name and credentials to its domain name and ownership.
Price, Warranty and Trust Seals
Well, end of the day we all want the best deal, don’t we. Depending on the choice of your Certificate Authority, the price will also vary significantly.
Secondly, the warranty amount provided for the certificate also differs. Most SSL certificate providers offer anywhere from $10,000 and upwards warranty along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Also, trust seals or badges for checkout pages, login pages, etc. are also provided by issuers with the certificate. The price for the same will also vary depending on the brand reputation and market holding of the SSL certificate provider.
Other Matters that Really Matter
Some other factors to consider while picking an SSL certificate include customer service, technical support and disaster management. Make sure their certificate provider provides 24/7 support and is ready to offer technical assistance in case of migration of other web related issues. Also, when things go wrong, they should also be committed to helping put your website back online without losing valuable time.
Now that is how you can select the right SSL certificate for your business? Let us know if you have any queries.