What is a Certificate Authority? Why is it necessary for your Website’s security?

SSL

Before making a choice it is important to understand the role of certificate authorities

A Digital Certificate is a great way to protect the connection between a web browser and a web server. As a result, the adoption of digital certificates, notably SSL certificates, has increased significantly. In today’s age, having an SSL certificate installed has become an absolute must for online businesses.

In the skyrocketing e-commerce industry the “HTTPS” link has played a critical role. SSL certificates use the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to ensure a secure client-server connection. The certificate is authenticated with a public key and private key through asymmetric encryption. Here, the Certification Authority ( CA) which issues the certification and the private key play an important role.

In layman’s words, an agency responsible for issuing digital certificates is a certification authority. Before issuing the certificate, a certificate authority scrupulously validates the legitimacy of the organisation, or individual. This may be, the most important part played by a certificate authority. The CA awards a certificate to the website until it considers all the information to be accurate and falls within the guidelines defined by the CA / B forum. The web browser acknowledges the website’s authenticity and gives Web visitors the “HTTPS” or secure connection sign. With HTTPS correctly installed, the website shows several visual indicators such as an address bar with company name, website seal, padlock, etc.

An Authority for Certificates (CA) role

As you know, the originator of the SSL certificates acts as a certificate authority. But, certificate authority ‘s role is not limited to that alone. Indeed, CA ‘s obligations begin well before the issuance process.

A Certificate Authority shall conduct a thorough validation of the organization applying for the certificate. The authentication process depends entirely on the type of SSL certificate you ‘d like to buy.

As for the SSL certificates for domain validation (DV), the CA only verifies the applicant’s domain ownership and issues the certificate. In the case of Organizational Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV), the certificate authority must validate documentation and credit reports for the company registration. This screening process is designed to be a very rigorous process that takes 3-5 working days to complete.

From a cybersecurity point of view the vetting procedure is said to be the most important part. The CA must make sure that only the legitimate entities are issued SSL certificates. The certificate authorities therefore need to enforce a strict and precise authentication process so that no mischievous group gets hold of any one.

Prefer Trusted Authorities for Certificates always

In the past, there were instances of SSL certificates that were issued to spoof domains. The fraudsters identify the faint link in the certificate authority’s issuance process and use the phishing technique to fool visitors to the website. In the point of view of an online user, it is almost impossible to learn as the websites for fraud consist of a padlock, something that online users are advised to check diligently before making any purchase on the internet. Hence, installing the SSL certificates issued by a trusted certificate authority is undoubtedly necessary.

SSL certificates are issued by the most respected certificate authorities by rigorously following the guidelines provided by the CA / B forum, thus recognized by all leading Web browsers. Leading tech giants like Apple, Mozilla, and Google have banned a Chinese certificate authority for deceptively issuing certificates. As a result, all leading browsers had stopped accepting the CA’s certificates. You don’t want to see that happen, do you?

Millions of users worldwide entrust themselves to the certificates provided by reliable certificate authorities. Of this purpose, the infrastructure used to encrypt these users’ cryptographic keys must be heavily shielded to avoid any PKI failure. Even in the event of such loss you get the peace of mind backed by a huge amount of guarantee.

Stuff to remember when choosing an authority to issue certificates

It is crucial that you select the right certificate authority for your websites, yet it often goes under the radar. The website owners also search for the cheapest certificate available. But online users don’t go unnoticed about cyber-attacks on a business website. It can leave a huge dent on your reputation and hence plunge your income. Here are the factors you should recognize before making a choice.

  • The CA takes safeguards to protect cryptographic keys
  • Rigor used in method of validation
  • The CA’s popularity
  • Recent history and repute

Last Word

Ultimately, both parties have no option but to rely on an authority to issue certificates. But, it is up to us to choose the right authority for certificates, right? Given that much is at stake here, we strongly support implementing the above suggestions to secure your website / app with a trusted certificate authority.