When you are on the lookout for web securities for securing your digital enterprise, SSL certificate security tops the list. If you are a layman and are unaware of these digital certificates, let me brief you regarding the same.
About SSL Certificates:
SSL certificates are the abbreviation of Secure Socket Layers. They are very vital for site security because they secure conversations between browsers and servers with encryption techniques. They use cryptographic keys (Private Key & Public Key) to encrypt the data in transit, making it non-readable for intruders.
An encrypted format is like a coded language, which is very difficult to read and hence can’t be penetrated. SSL certificates secure websites with 256-bit encryption strength and 2048-bit key CSR Encryption, which makes the website quite secure from fraudsters.
Apart from websites, these digital certificates are also used for mobile apps, fax, messaging, emails, etc. There are many benefits of encrypted traffic and multiple types of SSL certificates help secure multiple requirements of business owners.
Their trust symbols are HTTPS in the address bar and padlock in the URL, which is visible when a site has an SSL certificate installed on it.
Example: Some SSL certificates secure only Domains, some secure both domains and sub-domains (first level or multiple levels).
In this article, we will discuss what are sub-domains and how to secure them, i.e. which SSL certificates are needed for securing sub-domains.
What are Sub-domains?
A hierarchy from the main domain is called a sub-domain. They help organize site content by splitting the website into multiple sections. Their position lies before the domain name and domain extension. Since they distribute your website, according to the functions, they make a lasting effect on SEO too.
Example: Bobby owns a furniture store and has a website for the same. The domain name of the site is www.furniture.com. Now if he wants to display the types of tables and chairs with their specifications, its advisable to create separate URLs for different products. i.e. chairs.furniture.com and tables.furniture.com.
Here, in the above example,
- .com is the TLD (Top Level Domain)
- Furniture.com is the 2nd level domain or root domain
- Products.furniture.com is the sub-domain, which is a section of the root domain.
Now since the concept of sub-domains is clear, its time to see which SSL certificates can be used for sub-domain security.
Single SSL Certificate for all Sub-Domains – Wildcard SSL:
Wildcard SSL Certificates are used to secure the primary domain and all first-level sub-domains with a single certificate. Here an “*” is termed as a wildcard character and is used before the domain name to add sub-domains.
Example: If the domain name is www.art.com, *.art.com will secure all 1st level sub-domains like frame.art.com and structure.art.com
This SSL certificate is available in 2 validations, i.e. Domain Validation (DV) and Organisation Validation (OV). No Extended Validation (EV) option available. For security concerns, and inadequate vetting, the EV option is prohibited for Wildcard SSL certificates.
Example: Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard, GeoTrust True Business ID Wildcard, etc. are some popular names.
Features of Wildcard SSL Certificate:
It has all the features of Standard SSL certificates with other added advantages.
- It provides robust 256-bit encryption and 2048-bit key CSR encryption.
- Unlimited server licenses and unlimited issuances during the entire certificate life span.
- 99% mobile and browser compatibility
- Money-back offers and warranties in case of unwanted emergencies
- The majority of Wildcard SSL certificates come with a trust seal and help rise SEO ranks
Advantages of Wildcard SSL Certificate:
A peep into some of the advantages of the Wildcard SSL certificate will show, how this certificate is useful when you need multiple sub-domain security for your site.
- Wildcards are cost-effective because a single Wildcard certificate secures all your sub-domains. You do not need to buy individual certificates to secure different sub-domains and hence you save on the cost factor.
- Apart from cost-effectiveness, they are easier to manage because you just need to install a Wildcard certificate to secure your sub-domains with the main domain. It saves you from the hassles of installing multiple certificates and installations. From technical and administrative viewpoints, just one Wildcard secures your site.
- In case of additions of sub-domains at a later stage, this SSL certificate will automatically secure it. There is no need for re-issuance in the future on the addition of sub-domains.
- Wildcard SSL certificates are flexible on multiple servers too. For ease, many organizations keep sub-domains on multiple servers. A single Wildcard can secure sub-domains on multiple servers, by transferring and sharing the private key to these servers. Hence additional Wildcard SSL certificates are not needed for different servers.
Disadvantages of Wildcard SSL Certificate:
Though the advantages surpass the disadvantages, some of the cons of this SSL certificate are:
- When sub-domains are hosted on multiple servers, this SSL certificate needs to be shared on multiple servers for securing these sub-domains. Hence the private key needs to be shared across these servers, which is a risky move.
- When the private key is compromised, you need to re-issue the certificate on all servers too.
- No EV option is available.
- This SSL certificate secures first-level sub-domains only. Even if a company has multiple top-level domains or multiple domains, you need multiple Wildcard SSL certificates. For multi-level sub-domain and domain security, you need a Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL certificate.
- Older operating systems do not recognize “*”, i.e. the wildcard character.
Purchasing a Wildcard SSL certificate is a wise option if you wish to save costs and installation hassles. One single Wildcard SSL covers hundreds of standard SSL certificates and simplifies certificate management issues.
Various Cheap SSL Certificate Providers are available in the market, who are selling various brands of SSL certificates at enticing rates. Cheap SSL Shop is one of them who rules the market with their attractive rates and services. Go, grab one now for securing your digital business.