Website Security, SSL, HTTPS and Your Business

Cyber Security - Insurance WebsitesGoogle has been pushing website owners to create more secure websites by advocating the adoption of HTTPS encryption. HTTPS website use SSL to create a more secure and encrypted website to safeguard content. Major browsers are now mark all not SSL sites (HTTP sites) as “not secure”, labeling the sites with that term.

Earlier this year, Google posted the following progress with HTTPS (SSL):

  • Over 68% of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows is now protected
  • Over 78% of Chrome traffic on both Chrome OS and Mac is now protected
  • 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default

Google’s attempting to help all website visitors understand that all HTTP sites are not secure, and continue to move the web towards a secure HTTPS web. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) doesn’t encrypt user data which makes pages vulnerable to eavesdropping attacks

There are many compelling reasons why websites should move to SSL, including security, encryption and trust. In October 2017, Google said, “Passwords and credit cards are not the only types of data that should be private. Any type of data that users type into websites should not be accessible to others on the network, so starting in version 62 Chrome will show the ‘Not secure’ warning when users type data into HTTP sites. And eventually, we plan to show the “Not secure” warning for all HTTP pages, even outside Incognito mode.”

Why The SSL Push?

What is SSL? It is an acronym which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a de facto standard used to establish an encrypted link between any web server and your browser. SSL helps ensure that the data communicated between a web server and a browser remains private.

Many people fail to understand that the information they transmit over the Internet, which in many instances is not encrypted, is passed through a series of servers (often referred to as hops), before it finally arrives at the intended destination. Any of those servers which transmit your information in this chain, can steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers or medical information. Sites that use SSL encrypt your data, making the information difficult to steal for everyone except the final destination server. This is important for increased security and to protect confidential information from hackers and identity thieves.

What is SSL Authentication?

SSL provides authentication in addition to data encryption. For example, let’s say someone fills out a quote request form. These often contain confidential information.  Any one of those interim servers could potentially hijack this confidential information. However, this security issue can be mitigated by using an SSL Certificate from an authorized SSL provider. SSL certificates are provided to verifiable websites, like your website, after they have gone through several identity checks to prove they can be trusted.

Google and other major browsers are essentially mandating that all businesses will need to make their websites SSL compliant. SSL certificates are inexpensive, ranging from free to $70 per year depending upon the hosting provider. If your business has not yet converted your website SSL, you should do so immediately. In the near future, clients and prospects may not be able to use your contact us, get a quote or certificate forms. Organizations needing assistance updating their website or converting to SSL can reach out to the marketing experts at StartUpSelling for a complimentary evaluation.