A sensitive connection is the one where confidential information is transmitted. For example, a blogger’s website which shares trending news does not necessarily need an SSL connection although it is always advisable to stay safe. On the other hand, a site that requires visitors to create accounts before getting service can be said to handle sensitive data.
The classes of certificate expected for these kinds of websites are organization validated certificate or extended validation certificate. On top of these two, there is another type of certificate called domain validation certificate, but this is not recommended for sensitive data. We shall discuss the former two types so that you can have a clear understanding of what they entail and be able to make a concrete decision.
- Organization validated certificate: These are certificates issued to business entities, companies, and even government organizations. With this kind of certificate, there can be an exchange of information and documents between the SSL issuing company and the SSL requester. This type of certificate is trusted to handle sensitive information because there is more than one step verification involved.
- Extended validation certificate: An extended validation certificate is the one used by financial institutions as well as any other party who feels that it’s worth buying the extended certificate. The issuance of the certificate is more rigorous and involving compared to organization validated certificate and the domain validated certificate.
For the above two classes, the certificates can still be differentiated based on how many domains they cover. For example, there are multiple domain certificates and wild card SSL certificates. Don’t be tempted to go for a free SSL certificate if you deal with sensitive data.
How does the transfer of data through the internet occur?
We believe that you have once or severally made a phone call. When talking over the phone, a person standing or sitting near you will likely hear what you are saying. However, if you decide to move far away, then they will hardly hear what you are saying. In the same way, data transferred through the internet can be intercepted before it reaches the intended owner.
This can only happen if the site is using HTTP without an ‘S’ from an SSL company. The ‘S’ we are talking about stands for security. When data is shared between a browser and a site without an SSL certificate, then there is a very high risk that anyone who wants to know what is being shared can see. For more information, click here!
However, when the owner gets an SSL certificate the data transmission process is encrypted, and this makes it almost impossible to make sense from any leaked data. Despite the emphasis, we have put on the SSL certificate; this is not all that is required to secure a website or data being shared. There is beast software which has the capability of decrypting data.
Which are the best SSL certificates in the market?
When dealing with sensitive information, it’s always good to put quality in perspective. Due to this, we shall highlight some of the few options you can consider for an SSL certificate. Some of these include:
- Comodo: Their certificate is trusted by 99.9% of the internet browsers. The issuance process associated with this certificate is fast and reliable. They have a 2048 bit signature and 256-bit encryption. Once you buy the certificate, they issue a logo that’s displayed on every page of your website or according to your preferences.
- Cloudflare: Some might wonder how we have included Cloudflare here but what they are not aware of is that Cloudflare also has premium packages which are very effective. In any case, they also offer one of the strongest free SSL certificates. Visit this page for free tutorial on how to install Cloudflare SSL.
- Geotrust: This is one of the most trusted security service providers in the market. It’s trusted by all the major browsers, and even the issuance process is pretty fast. They have all the categories of SSL certificate, but we recommend picking the organization or extended validation certificates.
- Rapid SSL: It’s a leading company that offers internet security services to both small and medium scale organizations. Their certificates are basically easy to install and can take effect within 10 minutes. The certificates are trusted by most of the browsers. There is also a 30 days money back guarantee.
Why choose a certain SSL certificate for sensitive data?
In order to be able to answer this question effectively and correctly, we shall look at the cons as well as the loopholes which are present with a free or standard SSL certificate:
- The lowest ranking SSL certificates are only issued after the basic information is checked. This means that even a criminal or a phishing website can still manage to have the green padlock as well as HTTPS on the address bar. This beats the purpose of the SSL certificate. However, these standard SSL certificates are important and useful to websites that do not handle sensitive data.
- The free and the trial SSL certificates in the market have limited capabilities. For example, Cloudflare free SSL does not do full encryption but rather only secures the data up to their servers. However, this should not be a big concern for general websites because they also monitor their traffic.
- The higher the class of an SSL certificate, the higher the warrant attached. This means, in cases of unforeseen instances, the losing party can get financial compensation up to certain limits. For example, Comodo SSL has a warranty that can offer a cash limit of $250,000, and the EV certificate has a limit of $2,000,000.
A sensitive connection between a client and a web server requires a premium SSL certificate. However, even on the premium SSL the EV OR OV are preferred over the standard SSL. The class of SSL certificate that should not be used with sensitive data is the free SSL certificate. The high-end SSL certificates can deter hackers and phishing company efforts to gain access to unwarranted data.