Best practices of SSL certificates

Best practices of SSL certificates

When using Symantec, Thawte or any kind of SSL certificates, companies gain many benefits, according to a new white paper by VeriSign and Symantec, including getting authentication between communicating parties, encrypting communication and information being sent over the internet and ensuring the integrity of data being transferred online. Even so, companies must be sure to follow best practices laid out for these keys, as not managing certificates or managing them incorrectly can cause some security problems.

There are some rules that must be held sacred when using SSL certificates, according to the white paper, including holding private keys close to the vest. The signer of the message must keep their key confidential, as anyone who gains access can impersonate the sender and send malicious material online. The white paper said public keys should be accessible to anyone who has a valid reason to read the message, encryption should always be used and hash algorithms should never collide.

"A collision is when the hash algorithm generates the same digest from two different data blocks," the VeriSign and Symantec white paper said. "At some point this is inevitable, but the ability to generate collisions intentionally compromises all functions of public key cryptography. This is why new and better hash algorithms have been developed over time and put into public use."

VeriSign's website said VeriSign SSL certificates help to provide more security than the average certificate at no additional costs. The company said users can receive a vulnerability assessment that should help identify weaknesses on the website. This way, companies can feel secure in knowing that customers will not have to worry about getting infected or compromised while surfing the website. Also included in these VeriSign SSL certificates is a daily website malware scan that should help make sure all of the public-facing aspects of the website are clean and safe for people to surf as they wish.