SSL Encryption: Benefits and Challenges. Best Practices
Traffic to corporate networks is increasing both inside and outside. Companies have to handle large volumes of traffic and ensure quality traffic that travels bilaterally.
SSL is one of the many security strategies and technologies that can be used. Understanding SSL encryption is key to navigating Palo Alto. It includes the concept, drawbacks and best practices. For more information on SSL encryption and deployment issues, read the following. If you are interested in learning more about Palo Alto’s next generation security platform, architecture and management, take Keith Barker’s online training course PCNSA.
What is SSL encryption?
We need to understand SSL encryption in order to better understand it. Encryption and decryption are interrelated. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an internet protocol that uses encryption to allow encrypted and authenticated connections between computers.
Netscape invented the protocol in 1995 to protect privacy, authentication, data integrity, and security in internet communications. Although we now use TLS encryption over SSL, the technologies that are related to it are still called “SSL” or SSL/TLS. Websites that use SSL/TLS have HTTPS. Websites that don’t use SSL/TLS have HTTP.
Why is it important to inspect SSL traffic?
SSL encryption was created to secure traffic over the internet. Any malicious third party cannot read or alter the contents of encrypted data. Malign traffic can also be encrypted just like normal traffic. This made it necessary to examine SSL traffic in order to filter out potentially dangerous traffic.
This involves intercepting inbound encrypted traffic and decrypting it. Second, the content is inspected and then encrypted back and sent to the destination. Companies can protect their digital assets against ill-intended traffic by using SSL inspection.
How do you know if a site has an SSL?
Now that you are familiar with the concept and importance of SSL, the next question is how can we tell if a website uses SSL? The easiest way to tell if a URL address begins with “https” is by checking the URL address. HTTPS, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is the protocol name and the last character “s”, which indicates that the website has an SSL certificate.
If you use Chrome, for example, check the lock icon in the URL address section. Click the lock to display connection details, including the validity of your certification.
Verify SSL certificate
This feature is available in most modern browsers. It can be useful to verify the certificate information and address. Even if you enter the http address, major websites will automatically redirect you to https for your security and that of theirs.
What about the privacy implications of inspecting SSL traffic?
It’s worth discussing the conflict between inspecting SSL traffic to ensure security and accessing private data that’s encrypted in normal traffic. Is it justified to examine sensitive private data in order to protect corporate digital assets? We must also consider the privacy implications of not inspecting SSL traffic.
An enterprise cannot protect its users and corporate assets without inspection. Companies that fail to inspect traffic can cause more serious problems than privacy concerns. A firm without the ability to intercept SSL traffic cannot effectively protect end-user data and prevent sensitive data from being leaked.
However, this does not mean that companies should assume they can access private data without informing end-users. They must take some