There are many different ways that hackers can create a data breach or capitalize on a known vulnerability in network security technology.
Having the ability to proactively protect your website and the data transmitted from the website to your server is important both for your business as well as for your customers and employees.
While there are comprehensive types of enterprise network security management programs, these are often more sophisticated and more costly than a small to mid-sized business or e-commerce site may require.
It also may be more than a struggling startup or an entrepreneur can justify the budget, at least until they are more established in their business.
However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t cost effective, highly beneficial options to consider to build security and protection into your website and for your users. One of the best options is to consider a cheap SSL certificate at the organization validation (OV) or at the EV (extended validation level).
Even with the EV SSL certificate, offering the highest level of verification for the business, the cost is just pennies a day and becomes even more reasonable when taken out over a two year period.
There are several distinct benefits to using SSL technology to protect your website from threats.
To help understand these benefits and how they will impact your online security and that of your customers, consider the following possible internet security threats.
One of the hardest types of attacks to determine is the so-called man-in-the-middle attack. This is a very common cyber security issue when information is transferred from a website to a business or through an email system.
There are specific types of SSL products known as Personal Authentication Certificates that are designed to provide encryption and digital signature to provide secure transmission of emails.
The first person sends information through a website without any type of SSL/TLS certificate. This information doesn’t go directly from the device or computer to the server; rather it goes through several different servers before it ends up where it has been directed. As it is not encrypted, it is visible to anyone.
At each of these servers, there is the risk of the information being accessed by a third party. In this case, the man-in-the-middle. The information can be temporarily held and altered, changed or modified in some way.
The server or the receiver of the data will never know that the data has been changed, altered, moved or manipulated. In addition, it is possible that malware could be added by this type of hacking.
The receiver assumes the data is from a trusted source. This could include uploading malware, responding to an email address provided that is really the man-in-the-middle hacker’s email or even providing personal information to the man-in-the-middle assuming it is the original sender.
In some cases, the man-in-the-middle simply assumes the role of the receiver. This will appear as information coming from your website or from someone in your company.
As this is a trusted source by the original sender, more information may be provided that could create a risk for security breaches for their company or personal information or for yours.
The Padlock and Green Address Bar
For e-commerce sites or online business sites offering sales or service from their website, having the padlock or the green address bar is another way to identify your business as using all industry standard data protection security.
It is something that customers now look for and most customers are not going to shop or provide contact, personal or financial information if this is not present.
The highest level of trust and assurance for your customers, use the EV SSL option. Remember, to obtain this level of certificate you will need to provide complete information on the domain, the organizational information as well as verifying the existence of your company as a legal entity.
Once you have the EV SSL, which is identified by the green address bar, green padlock and the alternating legal name of your company and the Certificate Authority in the address bar, you have proven you are trustworthy. As hackers and spoofing sites will not have access to this information, it will essentially protect your website from this type of fraudulent copying or attempts to redirect your customers.
Adding Security Software and Wildcards
While the SSL certificate is a great way to secure your website through encryption, it is not the only type of network security a website will require.
You should operate a firewall and an antivirus system as well as ensure that any page on the website that collects any type of data is covered by the SSL/TLS certificate.
Choosing a wildcard SSL certificate allows you to secure the main domain as well as any subdomains with the same certificate.
This would allow you to protect our main domain (the URL used to access the site) as well as subdomains such as login.mycompany.com or payments.mycompany.com, where login and payments are the subdomains and my company are the name of the website.