Securing e-commerce: Here's why SSL certificate matters

The best possible way to secure and protect a website from cyber squatters is by installing a SSL Certificate.

hidden January 14, 2015 11:40:23 IST
Securing e-commerce: Here's why SSL certificate matters

Imagine a world where you aren’t online? Zero access to your Facebook, news, bank accounts, online shopping etc. We live in a world where internet has become an indispensable part of our lives. We browse through several websites every day, but how many of us give a thought about how secure these websites are? Not surprisingly, many of us are still not comfortable in sharing our personal and banking details with these websites. Trusting an unknown entity who doesn’t have a face or you don’t know personally can be challenging.We are living in a connected world where information leaks happen every day and the biggest question is whether all of these websites are safe? The answer is no!

As hackers and cyber squatters get more and more active, getting websites secured becomes all the more important, especially for those websites that require personal info from their visitors. The best possible way to secure and protect a website from cyber squatters is by installing a SSL Certificate. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a cryptographic technique that establishes an encrypted connection between a server and a client by exchanging a symmetric key. It not only protects the sensitive information to be private and confidential as it transfers over the web and keeps data from being stolen by malicious attackers but also gives confidence to customers to share their personal info with the website.

Securing ecommerce Heres why SSL certificate matters

Ecommerce

If you are planning to shop on an e-commerce website, you may have been suggested by some experts to check if they have an SSL certificate on their website. Since many aren’t familiar with this, it leaves you blank with tons of questions like what it is, how it works, why I should care and most importantly why it is so critical for an e-commerce website to have one. Due to the nature of data protection, SSL is a widely used feature on most e-commerce websites which collect visitors' and consumers' private information. The primary reason for using SSL is to keep sensitive information safe by sending them with an encrypted connection. As e-commerce websites require private information like username, password and credit card number, the information collected could easily encounter identity theft during it is sent to or sent back by the server if there are no encryption methods used. As an online merchant, it is the ecommerce portal’s responsibility to maintain data confidentiality for its consumers. By using an SSL certificate to enable SSL encryption on the website, your data and personal information is well encrypted and becomes unreadable to anyone except for the server that the information is destined for.

Security has always left the consumers nervous because of the sheer amount of hacks and identity thefts happening every day. People have become aware and cautious in making purchases online. If the merchant is unable to influence you that your privacy is under protection, he cannot expect you to trust them and buy their products. SSL provides you with the ‘thing’ acting like a trust seal to arouse people's trust.So the thing that is crucial for any website is to assure the visitors that it is legit and reliable.

Trustmark logos are one such trust symbol that certify the security and reliability of a website. Although a consumer has multiple many options to choose from, it is important to judge which Trustmark a portal should use on his website. It won’t make any sense for the business owner to spend money on a security certificate which the consumers won’t recognise.For instance, PayPal Verified stands for fraud protection and the VeriSign Trust Seal, is for security and encryption, which provides SSL certificates to websites. SSL is most often used for transmitting credit card, tax, banking, or personal information to a business server somewhere.Besides a secure https connection, a sceptical customer is more likely to make a purchase if the ecommerce store has a security badge. In the Indian ecommerce industry, successful websites like Myntra and Jabong use a 256-bit SSL security, whereas Flipkart has its own security seal with a green padlock in the address bar. The only exception is if the e-commerce site forwards you to a 3rd party payment processor (like PayPal) to enter the credit card information. In such a case, you don’t need an SSL certificate from the website because the portal won’t be able to access your card information. Just make sure none of the credit card details get entered when the address bar still shows the e-commerce domain name.

Technically, SSL ensures transparency which requires little interaction from the end user when establishing a secure session be it on an e-commerce portal or for online banking. A very generic example can be that of a browser where users are alerted to the presence of SSL when the browser displays a padlock, or, in the case of Extended Validation SSL, when the address bar displays both a padlock and a green bar. This is the key to the success of SSL – it is an incredibly simple experience for end users.

A site that conveys trust is also more likely to be a site that makes more money. There is a research that suggests that having a recognizable SSL certificate may, in fact, have a direct correlation to increased e-commerce sales and it is proved in a survey conducted by VeriSign which reports 93 percent of online shoppers felt it was important for an e-commerce site to include a trust mark of some kind on their site.Clearly, the threat looms large and nobody knows who is going to be the next victim, but the good news is that regulations and processes are already in place in most case. To add to it,the RBI regulations, industry compliances and bank's self-security measures have helped. But when it comes to security, there's no such thing as too much and basic information like SSL will be handy for you to give you the confidence to complete the transaction.

 

-- Ambarish Deshpande, Managing Director - India, Blue Coat Systems

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