Anyone with a computer or smart device is well aware of the growing security concerns on the Internet. As time goes on, cyber security and internet safety become a more serious of an issue. It’s clear that hackers are becoming more advanced and will continue to find ways to steal our data; with a large part of our lives spent online, it’s just a matter of time before hackers affect you in some way. If you own a business, the sheer amount of valuable information you are responsible for is something to be concerned about. Moving into 2021, data safety will be more necessary than ever. Let’s discuss SSL and security concerns for your company’s website and the types of sites you may be visiting:
What is an SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, also known as Transport Layer Security. Whether you know it or not, you interact with SSLs every day. These layers are a specific technology designed to keep your Internet connection safe, especially when important data is involved. SSLs run a protocol of data encryption to make sure third parties can’t see what either party is viewing or sending.
The data encrypted by SSLs includes sensitive and non-sensitive information, such as passwords, names, banking information and more. The setup uses a handshaking procedure that both of the parties involved agree to use. The data transaction then creates a cipher so information can be sent in an encrypted format. Theoretically, even if a third party were to intercept your data, it would be gibberish since they do not have the means to decipher it.
SSLs are essential for safe Internet communication. You and your company likely send and receive highly-sensitive information online all day long. What used to be something kept safe in a drawer can now become compromised public information because of a malicious hacker. The layer of safety provided by the SSL is so standard we don’t even notice it. Sites that have an “HTTPS” in front of their address use some form of SSL or TLS.
Managing a TLS/SSL
Not only do you want to keep your company’s information private, but you need to make sure that customer information stays private as well. Unfortunately, SSLs and TLSs are not a one–and–done procedure. Like any other security protocol, SSLs change over time. You should routinely ensure that any certificate your company’s website uses is up to date and effective. You can do this by installing updates as they are released.
Think of the SSL protocol like a deadbolt. Having a deadbolt on your door is much safer than simply a locking doorknob. Yes, there are always people who know how to compromise it, but the extra precaution makes it more difficult to gain entry. Over the years, deadbolt technology has improved and evolved as people learn to bypass obsolete technology. Sometimes, however, it takes working with an experienced locksmith to have it installed correctly.
SSLs/TLSs are certainly much better options than nothing at all; however, these protocols, particularly older versions, are still vulnerable. Hackers use numerous common and highly successful attacks, such as POODLE, BEAST, CRIME, BREACH and HEARTBLEED to break this encryption. Even the slightest bit of security, though, can keep you safe!
Keep Yourself and Your Customers Safe
Having your company’s private information exposed to the highest bidder can have devastating effects on your operations. Stolen customer information due to a lack of care in your communications could result in lawsuits and legal trouble. Customers have well-deserved expectations: when they share personal information with you, it needs to be kept confidential and secure.
This can be especially true in organizations that deal with sensitive information regularly, such as financial institutions and medical centers. In the hacking community, there is a highly lucrative market for personal information. The dark web is flooded with people selling private information databases to the highest bidder — and there is always a highest bidder.
If you want to avoid liability, make sure your security protocols are up to date. It is also critical that you maintain them professionally. A relatively small investment in this area of security can end up saving large amounts of money and possibly your business itself.
If your SSL/TLS certificates are getting old and dusty, or (even worse) you don’t have any at all, now would be the best time to contact us. As 2021 quickly approaches, these threats are only going to be more significant and more challenging to handle. The web can be a scary place, and the last thing you want is to be caught unprepared! By making sure your SSL/TLS certificates are in perfect order, you can rest a little bit easier at night.