Data Security in the Ecommerce world – Is SSL an Answer?
When you run an online shopping site, it becomes imperative to protect the data of your customers. Even a single breach of user data can be devastating to your whole business, and you may be faced with an existential crisis. Therefore, it’s essential to safeguard your user data with the highest levels of security. And an SSL certificate can be a good starting point for that. Why you may be wondering! Just bear with the length of this article, and we’ll explain it to you in a few minutes. Let’s get started:
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. As its name suggests, it’s an additional layer of security for your website, and it allows secure transfer of confidential information between your site and your visitors. It serves two functions to complete its jobs – encryption and identification. Let’s see how these functions work together to provide a safer web experience.
Encryption and Identification: Two functions of SSL certificates
Once installed in your web server, an SSL certificate establishes a secure connection between your website and visitors. That secure connection, called an SSL Link, does two things:
Identification: First, it helps the web browsers of your visitors in verifying the identity of your website. If this verification of website identity doesn’t happen, there remains the risk of a Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack to steal user information. Cybercriminals can create a clone of your web server by using many different techniques, and that clone server may then receive the sensitive information (i.e., credit card info, user account info) being sent to your site by the user. An SSL certificate issued by a trusted Certifying Authority (CA) mitigates this possibility by giving a unique identity to your web server- an identity that can’t be spoofed.
Encryption: And secondly, it instructs the web browser of your visitors to transmit every single piece of data and information being sent to your web server only after encrypting it. Encryption is the process of scrambling information into multiple pieces of data with the help of cryptography in such a manner that they can’t be reassembled without the help of a private key, which is supposed to be owned by you and your web server only.
So, with the help of SSL Link, if a cybercriminal tries to impersonate your web server, he can be easily identified by the web browser of your visitors as it won’t have a valid SSL certificate associated with your business. A valid SSL certificate is issued only after thorough verification of your business, so there’s no way someone can get a duplicate SSL certificate to impersonate your business (which is the reason why CAs are called trusted entities).
But even if somehow, hypothetically, an attacker manages to steal the data packets being sent by your users, he won’t be able to extract any information from those packets as each one of them will be encrypted. And the private key to decrypt those packets lies in your web server only. These are the two functions of SSL certificates.
Why is SSL essential for an E-Commerce site?
We already explained to you how SSL certificates work to protect your website. Now, the next thing to know about them is why are they essential for an e-commerce site. And the main reason behind it is the kind of data that is handled by your website – an online shopping site doesn’t only collect the user account data of people but also their credit and debit card data, their address and other confidential information. If this information is ever stolen in a cyber-attack, the criminals behind that attack can use the information to inflict harm on your users in a variety of ways. They can publicize the private information of your users, they can perform transactions from their credit cards, and several other scams could be happening. And once they happen, your entire business may come under threat as your brand reputation will be affected. People may start thinking twice before entrusting you with their confidential information again.
So that’s why an SSL certificate is essential for your e-commerce business. Without this certificate, all your other cyber security mechanisms are not going to serve their purpose entirely. And if you’ve not put any data security measures in place, installing an SSL certificate can be a good starting point.
The various types of SSL certificates
There are many different types of SSL certificates, but they can primarily be divided into three categories:
- Domain validation (DV) certificates
- Organization Validation (OV) certificates
- Extended Validation (EV) certificates.
As the names of each of these certificates suggest, DV certificates are the most basic ones as they confirm only the identity of a domain name. For this reason, they’re also the easiest most affordable ones to obtain. OV certificates also validate the name and address of the organization that is going to receive them, and as a result, they take a little more time and money to be obtained. Finally, EV SSL certificates validate domain, organization, operation existence, and physical existence of the business. Therefore, it takes time to get them, and they also tend to be costlier than the other two options.
Conclusion: Which SSL certificate to use for your e-commerce site?
Now, if you think that you’ll be good with a basic DV certificate alone for your online shopping site, you’re making a mistake. Just because something is cheaper doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for everyone. DV certificates are excellent for websites that carries single domain validation plus ideal for blogger or website who does not collect confidential data). They’re not the right type of certificates for an e-commerce site, which collects a large amount of sensitive and confidential user data! To protect that much amount of confidential data, you must have the highest grade of security for every one of your systems. Therefore, when it comes to SSL certificates, you should get an EV SSL certificate from SSL2BUY.
I hope this article could explain the importance of SSL certificates for your e-commerce site, how they work, and how can they protect your users. Now it’s your turn to get the right certificate without taking too much time. Do it today for the best of your users!