May 22, 2023
7 min read
Most websites have a small padlock icon displayed next to the address. However, what does the padlock really mean, and is it a guarantee of online security?
Basically, the padlock icon indicates that the connection between the website and the browser is encrypted, thanks to an SSL certificate. There are several types of SSL certificates, and they offer varying levels of validation. The most secure certificates confirm that the website is associated with a genuine organization and protected against phishing.
However, a company may have a large number of certificates, and it can be difficult to know their status, whether they have been renewed, and where they were purchased.
Fortunately, there are services that can help you keep track of your certificates.
Huge growth in the number of certificates
Henrik Dürr has spent the last 18 years working on this issue. Today his company, Trustzone, helps Scandinavian customers buy, renew and troubleshoot digital certificates. They also have a service which helps customers keep track of their certificates.
“Since everything is online these days, we’ve seen a growth in certificates for various purposes over the past five years. Whereas we used to sell maybe 10,000 certificates per year, we’re now approaching 100,000. Companies use them for pretty much all their websites, and not only IT, but HR, sales and other departments can benefit from certificates today,” says Henrik Dürr.
“It’s madness out there, and we’ve tried to capture some of that madness with our product, the SSL 360. This is a tool capable of carrying out comprehensive analysis of certificate holdings and identify any potential problems,” he adds.
Henrik Dürr, Trustzone.
Anyone could face issues
Expired certificates can cause a lot of problems. If your customer goes to a page with an invalid certificate, they are likely to seek out a competitor. And worse, if there is a lack of certificates in critical infrastructure, it can put people’s lives at risk.
Not even the world’s largest IT companies are exempt from these issues. Both Spotify and Microsoft have experienced downtime in recent years due to expired SSL certificates.
“If this can happen to a company you think has everything under control, it can happen to you too,” says Dürr.
Dashboard for full control
This is where the SSL 360 comes in.
The dashboard gives you a complete overview of how many certificates you have, which domains your are associated with, which ones are about to expire, and suggestions for easy configuration.
“We collect data based on domains owned by the company, and you can also add domains yourself. We basically do a health check on your domains and websites,” explains Dürr.
Moreover, the SSL 360 is able to identify so-called “wildcard” certificates, which can cover multiple domains and subdomains.
Companies can also use it to purchase new certificates directly, or to switch from one provider to a provider supported by Trustzone.
“It’s all about transparency and control. Our dashboard puts everything in one place, and can be used across different departments.”
The SSL 360 has a simple design meant for all types of users, and not just the IT department. After all, most of Trustzone’s customers are small to medium-sized businesses, and they need elegant tools that are easy to understand.
“The number of certificates has sky-rocketed. Every unit, every website needs a certificate. It’s only a matter of time before you get an expired certificate. That could result in some downtime – or a disaster. People need to have a plan for certificate renewal,” concludes Henrik Dürr.
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