Building trust online is a fundamental component in having a successful e-commerce site. Of course, low prices and an excellent selection of products will be important, but even the best of prices won’t attract customers if there is a problem with the security on the site or if they receive a popup in the browser with a warning. While you cannot control the safety on a customer’s site, you can ensure that full security measures are used on all your computers and endpoints within your business and personal devices.
Building security is also essential for websites used by staff to log into your network when using their own devices, company endpoints or even when working from home. The key is all in having a reliable and visible network security to provide a secure online experience.
The trusted and universally accepted way to accomplish this cyber security is to use Secure Sockets Layer technology. SSL is also designated as SSL/TLS, with the TLS standing for Transport Layer Security.
TLS is built on the foundation of the development of the first SSL protocols by Netscape in the mid-1990s. It uses a method of encryption through paired key sets and an SSL certificate provided by a recognized Certificate Authority. Through the use of secure encryption and decryption between the client and the server all data transmitted between the two is secure and protected.
The data, when encrypted and transmitted, is seen as a random data. It cannot be translated, decoded or decrypted except by the particular paired private key that matches the public key used for the encryption. It cannot be read by any other key, either private or public, and it is impervious to brute force attacks or other types of cyber security attacks.
How it Works
The actual Secure Sockets Layer technology is very complex protocol. It works by creating a secure link, a channel if you will, that allows the encrypted data to be transmitted correctly between a client and the server.
The secure link occurs through several different checks and verifications between the two. It starts with what is known as an SSL handshake. The handshake is a critical part of the cyber security as it ensures that the client and the server can recognize each other as secure and trusted. The recognition is where the SSL/TLS certificate comes into play.
The handshake is just like it sounds, both of the ends, the client (website) and the server both having a role to play. As the customer or user connects to the website with an SSL/TLS certificate as part of its cyber security basics, it automatically makes a connection to the server hosting the site.
The server then sees this request and recognizes the particular key used to send the request. At this time no data is being exchanged, there will be no data sent through the Secure Sockets Layer technology until completion of the handshake protocol, ensuring the secure channel.
The server sends back the SSL/TLS certificate. It is checked against the trusted root certificates stored on the device or in the browser. The major Certificate Authorities will have their root certificates embedded, providing a full internet security and ensuring access only from valid; trusted sources.
Once this has been completed, and the certificate chain is approved, a set of keys is sent back and forth that are unique and are what is known as a pre-master key. From here there is what in essence a random test message sent back and forth. Once the test message is successfully encrypted and decrypted the connection is confirmed, and data is transmitted.
It is only at this time that the Secure Sockets Layer technology protocol allows for the transmission of any data entered on the client side. Through this system of checks, the secure connection is set up using a unique key set that is only used with one particular key pair.
Cyber Security Risks Minimized
Once the Secure Sockets Layer technology is in effect, there is no way that any hacker or cyber security attacks can be used to get the encrypted data. The protection includes preventing eavesdropping or man-in-the-middle attacks, both which are a significant issue in cyber security news on an ongoing basis through unsecured communication channels.
Of course, there are other ways that hackers can find out what is entered on any device. These methods include malware that can be hidden in downloads and used as a keystroke logger. A keystroke logger program allows the hacker to capture and record anything typed into your computer or device, providing information on passwords and logins, credit or debit card information or any banking and financial information.
These factors are why it is so important to use Secure Sockets Layer technology to protect data in transmission from the and to also promote the utilization of an antivirus, anti-malware and anti-spyware type of program on all endpoints and for all users of the system. The use of this full approach to security highlights the importance of cyber security not as a single program, but as a complete and comprehensive approach to keeping all data safe.
Ashraf is a Technical Blog Writer from Comodo. He writes about information security, focusing on web security, operating system security and endpoint protection systems.