Self-signed SSL certificates may not save as much as they seem to

Self-signed SSL certificates may not save as much as they seem to

Having an eye on what the budget is and what a company is spending on everything is always smart, but companies should never look to skimp on anything as far as security is concerned. Using self-signed SSL certificates may be one of these areas where companies believe they can save but are actually hurting themselves, according to a Symantec white paper. Going through certified companies such as VeriSign, GeoTrust and Thawte will most likely be a better option for protecting customers and the company's website.

"Self-signed certificates cost more than most implementers realize because the total cost of ownership of an SSL certificate is far more than just the price of the certificate," Teresa Wingfield writes on the Symantec blog. "From security hardware, to management software, to data center space and more, the costs of establishing a secure self-signing architecture can quickly add up. And, a do-it-yourself approach to SSL security may put an organization at risk for costly security breaches and lost trust."

SSL certificates are necessary due to the amount of unencrypted and dangerous traffic that happens over the internet, the Symantec white paper says. Having a sufficient way to send encrypted documents and files online is extremely important, especially when thinking about the number of threats that are out there on the net right now.

The white paper notes that with self-signed SSL certificates, there is more of a risk of advanced, persistent threats or multiple attacks because of the lack of security processes with these certificates. A company may want to attach itself to a certificate authority solution just for the other security processes in place that would be more expensive to put together a la carte with self-signed keys.

Instead of risking security with self-signed certificates, companies should look to companies like VeriSign for their SSL certificates to make sure their website and customers are safe online.