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The importance of SSL in website security

The security of personal data on the Internet is a constant concern for users and companies. As more people share confidential information online, it is critical to ensure that this data is protected from cyber attacks and perpetrators. In this context, SSL acts as an essential component for website security.


Definition

SSL, Secure Sockets Layer, is a cryptographic security protocol used to establish a secure connection between a client and a server on the Internet.


SSL/TLS provides authentication, confidentiality and integrity of data transmitted over the internet. It is mainly used to protect financial transactions, online purchases, sending confidential information, logging into systems, among others.


How it works


When a client and server establish a secure connection using SSL/TLS, the steps are as follows:

  1. Handshake: Security and authentication parameters are negotiated between the client (browser) and the server. The client sends a request to determine a secure connection to the server. The server responds with its digital certificate, which contains its public key.

  2. Certificate verification: The client verifies the validity of the server's digital certificate. This involves checking that the certificate was issued by a trusted certificate authority, is within its expiration date, and that the server's domain matches the domain name in the request.

  3. Key exchange: Once the client has verified the certificate, it generates a cryptographic session key. This key will be used to encrypt and decrypt data transmitted between the client and the server. The client encrypts this key with the server's public key and sends it back to the server.

  4. Mutual authentication (optional): In some cases, mutual authentication takes place, where the server also requests an authentication certificate from the client. This is Secure Connection Establishment: After the handshake completes, a secure connection is made between the client and the server. Now, the communication between them is encrypted and protected against interception and modification by third parties.

  5. Data exchange: With the connection defined, the client and server can exchange data in encrypted form. Data is encrypted using the session key and decrypted by the server with its corresponding private key.

Source: Hostinger

It is worth noting that the SSL/TLS process may vary depending on the specific protocol version used and the server and client configurations. However, the steps mentioned above are the main steps involved in establishing a secure connection using SSL/TLS.


The importance of SSL


Some of the reasons why using SSL is extremely important:

  • Data Encryption: SSL uses encryption to protect the data that passes between the user's browser and the web server. This means that even if a third party intercepts the communication, he will not be able to understand or decipher the transmitted information.

  • Server Authentication: SSL also offers server authentication, which means that the browser can verify that the website it is accessing is indeed the expected website. It will prevent phishing attacks, where a fake website impersonates a legitimate website to steal user information.

  • Data integrity: SSL uses cryptographic hashing algorithms to ensure data integrity. This means that during transmission, the data cannot be altered or corrupted by a malicious person.

  • Reliability: The use of SSL increases the reliability of visitors to a website. When a website has a valid SSL certificate, it displays a padlock in the address bar and the protocol "https" instead of "http". These visual indicators mean that the site is secure and that the information transmitted is protected.

  • Better Search Engine Positioning: Search engines like Google consider the use of SSL as a ranking factor. This means that websites with SSL tend to rank higher in search results compared to websites without SSL.

SSL plays a role in the security of websites, highlighting the confidentiality, integrity and authenticity of the transmitted information. It is recommended that all websites use SSL so that user data is secure and a reliable experience is provided.


In summary, SSL is an essential pillar of web security. By encrypting data and authenticating servers, SSL provides an additional layer of protection for websites. In addition, the presence of the green padlock and the HTTPS protocol is a sign that the website adopts strict security measures, protecting users against interception and data manipulation attacks. Businesses and users should recognize the importance of SSL and implement it on their websites to ensure a secure and reliable online experience.

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