SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client—typically a web server (website) and a browser; or a mail server and a mail client (e.g., Outlook).
SSL allows sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely. Normally, data sent between browsers and web servers is sent in plain text—leaving you vulnerable to eavesdropping. If an attacker is able to intercept all data being sent between a browser and a web server they can see and use that information.
More specifically, SSL is a security protocol. Protocols describe how algorithms should ...view middle of the document...
The CA uses the CSR data file to create a public key to match your private key without compromising the key itself. The CA never sees the private key.
Once you receive the SSL Certificate, you install it on your server. You also install a pair of intermediate certificates that establish the credibility of your SSL Certificate by tying it to your CA’s root certificate. The instructions for installing and testing your certificate will be different depending on your server.
In the image below, you can see what is called the certificate chain. It connects your server certificate to your CA’s (in this case DigiCert’s) root certificate through a series of intermediate certificates.
The most important part of an SSL Certificate is that it is digitally signed by a trusted CA like DigiCert. Anyone can create a certificate, but browsers only trust certificates that come from an organization on their list of trusted CAs. Browsers come with a pre-installed list of trusted CAs, known as the Trusted Root CA store. In order to be added to the Trusted Root CA store and thus become a Certificate Authority, a company must comply with and be audited against security and authentication standards established by the browsers.
An SSL Certificate issued by a CA to an organization and its domain/website verifies that a trusted third party has authenticated that organization’s identity. Since the browser trusts the CA, the browser now trusts that organization’s identity too. The browser lets the user know that the website is secure, and the user can feel safe browsing the site and even entering their confidential information.
How Does the SSL Certificate Create a Secure Connection?
When a browser attempts to access a website that is secured by SSL, the browser and the web server establish an SSL connection using a process called an “SSL Handshake” (see diagram below). Note that the SSL Handshake is invisible to the user and happens instantaneously.
Essentially, three keys are used to set up the SSL connection: the public, private, and session keys. Anything encrypted...