What if someone tells you that SSL/TLS protocols can offer impenetrable protection to your business website? While completely incorrect (nothing is impenetrable). SSL/TLS can give robust data privacy, server authentication, and dependable data integrity to give your customers and you some peace of mind.

Imagine that you wake up in the morning and read about your company being experienced a data breach?  The headlines say that hacker was able to steal the passwords, usernames, addresses and payment information of all your customers. And eventually, you come to know from the investigators that hackers were able to collect all information very easily because your business website pages were not secured. Panicked right?

As a result of this simple overlooking, your organization will spend millions of dollars on PR firms, forensic experts, litigation charges and many more. Additionally, the stock prices and revenue fall as consumers decide to move their stock portfolio and business elsewhere.

The question is to be hacked or not!

Thankfully, the possibility of the above situation can be decreased by practicing steps to assure that your company’s website pages are protected. While browsing, you must have seen URLs that begin with “https,” where the ‘s’ stands for secure and permits a web browser to know that the website which browsing is legitimate and secure.

The presence of encryption on the website is essential as it conceals sensitive information like passwords, usernames and credit card details. With the encryption, that sensitive information appears to be a mixed-up of characters. Even if a hacker watches the website traffic and draws back the data packets, they won’t be able to translate the transmission between a company and a client. Therefore the companies can guarantee that their site is secured and encrypted by utilizing the SSL/TLS protocols.

Web Hosting Service Provider that offers an SSL certificate to secure a website:

As mention, having an SSL certificate for your website implies encryption of sensitive data on the web page. It’s very important for the sites that enable the user registrations, online stores or e-commerce sites. It is necessary to have an encryption feature to protect and avoid data theft and fraudulent schemes like phishing.

However, the terms SSL and TLS appear to be interchangeable, but there are few differences between those two that one must be aware of. The SSL stands for the secure sockets layer protocol, and that was established by the Netscape in 1994. The protocol was created in the way to keep the internet connection secure between two systems and also safeguard all sensitive data sent between the two systems.

TLS is the transport layer security protocol and was introduced by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 1999. As an upgrade to the TLS, SSL presents a strong integrity, confidentiality, and authentication with the internet connections that take place between the site and the one who browse the website.

Confidentiality, Integrity, Authenticity!

The TLS protocol’s first protection feature is confidentiality, the act of keeping privacy private between the two parties. When the browser is connected to the web server, the assumption is that all sensitive information like passwords, usernames, payment method and account information are kept confidential within the two parties. Therefore, any stranger spying on network traffic will not be able to notice any information. To obscure data, the TLS uses encryption algorithms so that the sensitive data stays private between the parties.

The second protection feature TLS provides is integrity, the act of assuring that a document or message has not been modified. For instance, if any user does online banking and wants to transfer money to an associate, a hacker could modify the recipient account to his own before the request is received by the banking server which would be undesirable.

TLS protocol uses something termed HMAC (hash message authentication code) to confirm that the data has not been damaged while transiting. That is if any message is entered into the hash function, it returns with a unique hash number. If any small thing is edited in the message like space or a letter then totally a new, different hash number is generated by the hash function that looks similar to the original one.

With the earlier example, if the transfer request is received by the banking server and if that received message hash doesn’t match with the original hashed message than the request will be rejected. This helps to prevent any unauthorized transfers.

The third protection feature provided by TLS is authentication, a method of verifying one’s identity. That is before logging into the website with the credentials that could allow anyone to access sensitive data; users need to be sure that they are on the legitimate website and not on the spoofed version.

TLS enables the website to display itself as a legitimate one by holding a digital certificate known as a Certificate Authority. Just like any citizen confirms their identity by providing driving licenses, the websites verify their identity with this digital certificate. Having a digital certificate assures that the user is on the right website and their sensitive login information is not going to be hacked.

SSL/TLS not only allows businesses to secure and protect their websites but ultimately these protocols also provide the user or any other casual browsers with the peace of mind when they notice a symbol of the green padlock in their URL bar. Therefore, it is a subtle way to use encryption on your websites which guarantees your customer that your business considers cybersecurity and is bound to take proper precautions to assure that sensitive data remains protected.