There are many Certification Authorities (CAs) currently offering digital certificates, each with various certificate products. For the first time user of digital certificates it is often difficult to make an informed purchase decision. Equally, experienced users may not have a full understanding of certain finer points relating to the products that are available in the market.
CompuBrainTM aims to provide impartial advice on how to approach the purchase of SSL certificates while at the same time clarifying certain issues relating to the product and industry which are often misunderstood. Our hope is that you find the information provided of assistance in making the right purchase for your business and security needs.
When do you need to use a Digital Signature?
Securing transmission of financial information in ecommerce is currently the major application of Digital Signature. However, with incidence of identity theft on the rise, protection of personally identifiable information is becoming ever more important. This category of data would include identity and social security numbers, as well as e-mail addresses.
Why use a SSL Certificate?
There are two main reasons why you should make use of a digital certificate:
a) To prove your company's (or your server's) identity online and in so doing create a sense of trust and confidence in using your web site.
b) To offer protection of the data submitted to your web site (or between servers) through the use of encryption. Should any information be intercepted, it will be unintelligible without the unique key used for decryption.
Thus, if you are managing sensitive customer data, the use of SSL certificates is worth serious consideration - especially if customer/member security and privacy is high on your list of priorities.
When evaluating a certificate product, CompuBrainTM makes sure it delivers on each of these requirements.
What level of authentication does the certificate offer?
In securing your web site with a SSL Certificate, your main aim is to provide proof of your online identity and in so doing establish a relationship of trust with those with whom you wish to interact online. This is where authentication comes into play as the most important element of a SSL Certificate.
Authentication provides users with proof that:
1. Your company is a bonafide real world company.
2. They are connecting to the correct server.
A certificate's level of authentication may be seen as an indication of its quality - the higher the level of authentication provided, the greater the quality of the certificate. It is therefore important to understand that the various digital certificates available each differ in level of authentication.