With ever-growing threats, cybersecurity is now more important than ever. Yes, the internet is now a hunting ground for cybercriminals who are motivated by greed and other reasons to bring down individuals, corporations, or even governments through cyber-attacks.
Most of the attacks now target websites and users using approaches like phishing, SQL injection, Cross-site Scripting, Broken Access Control, etc. If you are a website owner, then one of the simple ways to prevent these web attacks is to use what is known as an SSL certificate.
This quick guide will enlighten on what it is all about and how to secure cyber-attacks specifically by using a wildcard SSL for websites.
How to Ramp Up Security with SSL
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For starters, website security is vital to protect your personal or company brand against increasing cyber-attack. You might have heard of terms like ransomware, hacking, data breaches, and the likes that are cropping up. Frankly, no business is too big or small for hackers.
It is estimated that over 16 billion records have already been exposed in 2020 in breachers affecting even big names like Twitter, Marriott, MGM, Zoom, and many more. This just shows that you ought to implement preventive measures rather than handle the repercussions of an attack.
The best place to start is to know the different types of threats and how to defend against them. This is where SSL comes in handy as one easy way to add a security layer to individual and business websites.
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer (SSL), otherwise known as Transport Layer Security (SSL). In other words, SSL certificates are mainly to encode connections between servers and browsers. It is designed to keep sensitive information like credit card information secure from eavesdroppers who might want to intercept. There are many types of SSL certificates you can use depending on your site. One of them is known as a wildcard SSL certificate.
What is Wildcard SSL?
Wildcard SSL certificates is a public key certificate that encrypts data and verifies identity for your domain and its subdomains on any number of servers. Say you have a domain *.yoursite.com and other subdomains like subdomain1.yoursite.com and subdomain2.yoursite.com. You can simply use a wildcard SSL to secure all the domains! As you might have guessed, a wildcard SSL certificate is cheaper and more convenient compared to the conventional SSL certificate.
You do not need to buy an individual certificate for each subdomain you add to your site. The beauty is that there is no limit to the number of subdomains you can protect, especially if running a large business site with many subdomains. All the subdomains are covered under one certificate if they are at the same level.
Acquiring and deploying a wildcard SSL is also easier compared to deploying different individual SSL certificates. You will not be forced to manage disparate certificates. It basically streamlines the intricacy and lessens costs by protecting domains and their subdomains. Again, there are different types of wildcard certificates which are categorized based on the number of domains and servers it can be used with and validation level. The different types of wildcard certificates can secure multi-level domains and their subdomains along with different levels of validation.
Benefits of SSL for Business & Individuals
1. Encrypts Data
This is the primary benefit of having an SSL certificate on your site. It protects information from being accessed or read by malicious people by simply encrypting the data being transferred to and from the site with the standard 256-bit encryption. For any attempt of a data breach, some of the data is intercepted.
Additionally, an SSL certificate ensures that every avenue of communication you receive or send information to is secure. Your customer information, such as login details, addresses, signups, and personal payment information, is worth protecting using an SSL certificate. In return, this will help your customers feel safer knowing their data is in good hands and is protected from skimmers and hackers.
2. Business Credibility
SSL certificate assures the website authenticity. It even gives them the confidence to share sensitive information. For example, your site is converted from HTTP to HTTPS. As proof that your site is legitimate, a green/grey padlock icon is usually displayed at the top left corner next to the URL address. You can also get trust seals with SSL certificates. This shows customers that your connection is secure.
Well, SSL can help you convert more customers into space where people are becoming wary of security. Operating without an SSL certificate deters customers and makes it difficult to make payments, and your site might be labeled unsafe by browsers. Remember, building trust with your customers is key to the success of any business.
3. Improve Your SEO
Besides keeping your data safe, SSL certificates also ensure your site will rank higher in the most popular engines. Google, for example, gives sites with encrypted connections a ranking boost in line with their HTTPS everywhere initiative. It is one of the signals used in ranking websites added to the algorithm back in 2014. So, invest in SEO strategies and a website that is secure to give your rankings a boost.
Most of the web traffic these days comes directly from the SEO results, and if you do not have an SSL certificate, your SEO conversions will suffer. If you are in business, you might know that a search engine ranking boost will go a long way in helping users find your website.
4. Deter Cyber Attacks
With the extra layer of security that SSL provides, the likelihood of a cyber-attacks decreases significantly, especially with phishing scams. Phishing sites are websites masquerading as your business done by those who aim to steal your user data. They are convincing replicas of legitimate sites and try to trick unsuspecting visitors into providing their personal information. Using unique design and a valid SSL certificate on your site are ways to differentiate from malicious users who might want to take advantage of your brand.
If you are in business, then you need to comply with certain standards and guidelines. As an online shop, you need to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). One of the requirements is that your online business should have an SSL certificate with the right encryption. The certificate should be from a reliable Central Authority and provide private encryption on pages that contain any confidential information. An SSL certificate makes it mandatory for all online businesses to support the 128-bit encryption specified under the set security.
To wrap things up, we hope you now know a thing or two about using SSL to protect your business site. Your best choice is wildcard SSL if you wish to protect unlimited subdomains. The good thing is that SSL is quite affordable even for individuals and small businesses.