Regarding technology and security within your business, one size does not fit all. The security risks will differ depending on the business type you operate and the products or services you offer. The same goes for choosing the right kind of certificate for your company. Many different types of certificates are available, each with its benefits and features. It’s essential to take the time to research the various options and find a system that can manage all digital certificates your business might need.
What is a Certificate?
A certificate is an electronic document used to verify the identity of a person or entity. They are issued by organizations called Certificate Authorities (CAs). When you visit a website, your web browser will check to see if that site has a valid certificate. You will see a green padlock icon in the address bar if it does. This means the website is safe to visit, and your personal information will be protected.
Why are Certificates Important?
Certificates are necessary because they provide security for both businesses and customers. They help to ensure that only authorized people can access certain information and that the data cannot be tampered with. This is especially important for businesses that handle sensitive data, such as financial institutions and healthcare providers.
Types of Certificates
There are four main types of certificates:
- Domain Validated (DV) Certificates
- Organization Validated (OV) Certificates
- Extended Validation (EV) Certificates
- Wildcard Certificates
Domain Validated (DV) Certificates
Domain Validated certificates are the most basic and least expensive type of certificate. They only verify that you own the domain name. They do not require any additional information about your company or organization. DV certificates are typically used for personal websites or small businesses that do not handle sensitive data.
Organization Validated (OV) Certificates
Organization Validated certificates are more expensive than DV certificates and provide more security. They verify your ownership of the domain name and that your organization is legitimate. To get an OV certificate, you must provide proof of your organization’s existence, such as a business license or tax ID number. OV certificates are typically used by medium to large businesses.
Extended Validation (EV) Certificates
Extended Validation certificates are the most expensive and provide the highest level of security. They verify your ownership of the domain name, that your organization is legitimate, and that the CA has vetted your organization. Large businesses typically use EV certificates, such as banks and e-commerce sites.
Wildcard certificates can be used to secure multiple subdomains of a domain. For example, if you have a website for your company (example.com) and an online store (store.example.com), you can use a wildcard certificate to secure both with one certificate. Wildcard certificates are more expensive than DV and OV certificates but provide the same level of security
How to Apply for a Certificate
Once you’ve figured out the system your company will use to manage all digital certificates and the type of certificate you need, you can apply for a certificate. The process is different for each certificate type, but you will generally need to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) and submit it to the CA. The CA will then verify your identity and issue the certificate. This process usually takes a few days.
The Cost of Certificates
The cost of a certificate depends on the type of certificate you need. DV certificates are typically the cheapest, while EV certificates are the most expensive. The price also varies depending on the CA you choose and how many years you want to purchase the certificate for. Most CAs offer discounts for buying multiple years upfront.
What to Do After You Get a Certificate
After you receive your certificate, you will need to install it on your web server. The process varies depending on your server software, but most CAs provide instructions on their website. Once the certificate is installed, visitors to your site will see the green padlock in their browser, indicating that your site is safe and secure.
Certificates are an essential part of online security. They provide a way for businesses to prove their identity and protect sensitive data. By investing in a certificate, you can give your customers the peace of mind that their information is safe. When choosing a way to manage all your company’s digital certificates, you must consider your needs and the level of security you require. With so many different certificates available, one is sure to be perfect for your business.