SSL Certificates Explained | Certification Authority Explained
The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is in simple definition is a standard security technology that is used to establish encrypted links between the web browser and the server. When the SSL certificate is activated it in turn activates a padlock and the https protocol so to ensure secure connection between the server and the web browser.
The CA (Certificate Authority) is a legal and trusted entity that functions to manage and issue security certificate and also the private keys which are both used for secure connections in any kind of public network. The certificate verifies information provided the requestor alongside the registration authority which both are part of the public key infrastructure (PKI).
This is the most important responsibility of the certificate authority. Upon which it verifies all the information to be correct and also within all the stated guidelines set under the CA/B forum, the certificate authority goes ahead to issue the SSL certificate. The web browser will in turn recognize the authenticity of the website and then gives secure connection sign to the web visitors. With the HTTPS having been configured properly then the website displays several visual indicators like the padlock.
Roles of a Certificate Authority (CA).
- The certificate authority has a definite role to conduct a very thorough validation process of the organization or any individual who is requesting for an SSL certificate. The whole validation and authentication fully depends on the type of SSL certificate that the individual or the organization wants to purchase.
- Secondly the certificate authority have a role to issue SSL certificates to the organizations that publish content on the web. In this case the certificate offered branch into three hat correspond to the trust level in each of those certificates. The higher the trust level the greater the cost for the certificate since they require more attention from the CA.
The three certificate levels include:
- Extended Validation (EV) Certificates.
They provide the highest level of security hence most expensive. For the applicants of the EV certificates the Certification Authority Browser Forum clearly and fully defines the process of validation for them.
- Organization Validated (OV) Certificates.
They provide middle security level of assurance. The certificate authorities conduct some level of verification processes. They can be issued if the applicant demonstrates that it holds some level administration control of the domain name for which the certificate requested.
- Domain Validated (DV) Certificates.
These certificates only require that the requestor to demonstrate ownership of the domain for the certificate under issue. The DV certificated are issued under no/low cost and acquired almost instantly.
- The certificate authority has a function also to maintain the Certificate Revocation List (CRL).The certificate authority keeps a list of all revoked certificates before their scheduled expiration dates and are no longer trusted a record under the Certificate Revocation list.