Self Signed SSL Certificate Security Risk
Self-signed SSL Certificate – What is it?
An SSL Certificate that has been signed by the individual is a self-signed SSL certificate. A self-signed SSL certificate, also known as OpenSSL or self-signed generator certificate, is one that is created in-house rather than being requested from a trusted public authority (CA).
Technically, self-signed certificates are not signed by any private CA or known CA. There is no certificate chain. Self-signed SSL isn’t trusted by any applications/operating systems. Browsers display an error when using self-signed certificates.
A self-signed certificate is not only dangerous, but it can also cause a browser to display an error. This article will explain why self-signed certificates should be avoided and the risks involved in using them.
Use of a Self-Signed SSL Certificate
People choose self-signed certificates because they are “free”. A self-signed certificate does not have the same security features as Let’s Encrypt’s free SSL Certificate.
Also read: The Risks of Using a Free SSL Certificate
It’s not always free. Sometimes, the lower cost can attract but also have its downsides. Let’s take a look at the dangers of using a self-signed certificate.
Many browsers aren’t trusting this:
Many browsers do not support self-signed certificates because they haven’t been signed by trusted certificate authorities (CA), such as DigiCert or Sectigo. Because browsers enforce their security parameters, customers can access sites that require self-signed certificates. This makes them dangerous and leads to brand disgrace.
There is no warranty
The owner will not be entitled to any warranty amount in the event of any breach, MITM attack, or data alteration while transit. SSL certificates issued by trusted CAs come with a certain warranty amount that instills confidence in customers and ensures their data security.
There is no dedicated technical support:
The self-signed certificate is not issued by certified CAs and is therefore available for support only. They must do the installation themselves. In case of an error or threat they will need technical support. This may be costly.
Vulnerable to Threats:
Potential customers are scared by security alerts about self-signed SSL Certificates. This can cause damage to both brand reputation and client trust. This has a large impact on the security of the company and exposes it to malware and other threats to brand integrity.
Compromised private keys pose a serious threat to an organization. CA’s have the option to revoke certificates they have issued. Organizations cannot revoke Self-signed certificates. They replace the certificate with another self-signed one. This can lead to serious security threats if the private keys are not revoked quickly.
Browsers can also mark insecure self-signed certificates on the intranet (e.g. employee attendance). Many organizations encourage employees to ignore the warnings, even though they know the site is safe. However, this could lead to dangerous public browsing habits. If employees are used to overlooking warnings on internal sites, they might also be more inclined to ignore warnings on public websites. This could leave them and your organization vulnerable against malware and other cyber threats.
There are no way to revoke a self-signed certificate whose private key is compromised because it has not been vetted globally by a CA. This can lead to critical outcomes, whether it’s used on public or private sites.
The X.509 certificate chain that self-signed the certificate is not marked by any perceived certificate authority. If the remote host is a public production website, SSL cannot be used as it could be used to attack the remote host. If you depend on a self-signed cert, you might want to get an SSL endorsement from a trusted certificate authority such as DigiCert or Sectigo.
Trusted certificates issued by CA’s are more secure than self-signed certificates. They offer support and validation, as well as a warranty.
SSL Certificate Self Signed – “Trust Me – I Am Who I Say I Am”
SSL Certificate for Commercial Use – Trust me – Trusted Certificate Authority says “I am who I say”
Take the information above and decide which certificate to use in your particular environment. We hope that we have adequately explained the risks associated with a self-signed certification. If you think something is not clear, please let us know.