From data breaches to hacking attempts, security is an issue that is important to any and every company that conducts business online – no website can afford to ignore this fundamentally important aspect of their site infrastructure.
While maintaining and updating web security requires constant upkeep and refinements, a recent announcement regarding SSL certificates could soon see this website-essential free for all.
The Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) have just announced that having received cross-signatures from IdenTrust, their Let’s Encrypt service will now be able to issue SSL certificates and they will be trusted by all major browsers.
As SSL certificates vary on price depending on the provider, Let’s Encrypt will be in a position to offer the basic type at no cost – meaning there’s no valid reason for businesses to not actively secure their websites.
While the introduction of this free certificate will hopefully lead to a more widespread up-take of HTTPS, which is essential for promoting data security, free SSL certificates aren’t necessarily the best option for everyone.
While it has been reported that Let’s Encrypt certificates will provide domain validation, they won’t verify the organisation behind the domain. For companies offering ecommerce or dealing with finances, this type of validation is essential which is why Extended Validation seen below
is the most expensive SSL certificate available, as it verifies the organisation and lets users know they are legit. For this reason, Let’s Encrypt’s offering won’t be a wise choice for many companies.
With Google leading the battle cry for ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ last year and introducing it as a lightweight ranking signal, the company do have plans to increase its importance as more webmasters make the switch for the simple reason that it ensures everyone’s details are safe on the net.
Though small businesses may not have the know-how or inclination to acquire and install an SSL certificate, with Let’s Encrypt making basic certificates free for everyone this widespread availability leaves them with no excuse for not securing their website. For this reason we envision Google’s plan for HTTPS to become a more important ranking factor will come into effect sooner rather than later.