Online money transactions flourish, because they are more practical than physical money, and so too the need for new security protocols. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is an established protocol used by millions of websites.
However, companies who already have SSL on their website frontend need to realize that they need it too on the backend of their online enterprise.
How do you know a website is using an SSL certificate?
Modern Internet browsers will display a padlock in front of the website URL when you are on an SSL protected website, and you also can note “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP” at the beginning of the URL.
Those more scrutinous among us would recommend that you check if the certificate is valid, if this is your first experience with that website, before communicating any sensitive data. Sensitive data can include passwords, credit card number and other personal data that are usually asked within an online purchase process.
To an average website owner, this would be enough to conclude their business is safe, but we beg to differ if this is an enterprise website with a backend.
How does SSL work?
Experts will agree that SSL is more than a way to secure web requests. The SSL protocol will use encryption algorithms to encode data that is sent, so only the receiving party can interpret it, while anyone trying to intercept that traffic will be unable to decode it.
A website owner must purchase the SSL certificate from a vendor such as NameCheap and link the certificate to the server’s domain name. SSL communication requires a private and public key that is used for encryption and decryption purposes.
During an SSL handshake, the destination will use the private key to encode and decode data.
Internal tools used by company members need encryption to be considered secure
The frontend SSL is there to secure external user interaction, but a website with a backend that is used solely by company members still needs an SSL encryption to be considered secure.
Modern software platforms operate on cloud computing instead of large on-premise servers or data-centers because it is cheaper and easier to maintain. The enterprises which rent servers from third-party are particularly vulnerable.
The enterprise backends which are distributed by content-delivery-network such as Cloudflare have a global reach but a lack of communication encryption with just one server leaves the whole network vulnerable. This would provide hackers with cloud system access at an internal level.
In such a case, an internal tool that is hosted by a software vendor must use end-to-end encryption. A good example is an email server that must use specific port numbers when communicating information over SSL encrypted connections.
Conclusion – a foundation to a secure website
Customer trust is based on reliable and secure online transactions and lack of SSL certificate can spell doom for an enterprise. Internet browsers will alert the user with such a website and warn that they should not enter any sensitive data, which can lead to loss of profit.
Thankfully, deploying an external SSL for customers is a breeze with most renown hosting companies.
However, an enterprise, cloud environment where data is constantly being exchanged by different networks provides ample means for hackers and the only way to be secure is to add an SSL certificate at each.