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June 24, 2019

Analyzing SSL Certificates is the Next Step Towards Web Trust

Companies today are faced with the increasing and relentless onslaught of cybercrime. A report by McAfee predicts even more cybercriminal collaboration this year, with a growing market where the selling of malicious off-the-shelf products is possible. This means that more individuals — with varying skill and experience, of course — will be able to carry out cyber attacks.



One could simply ignore the many cybersecurity threats of such an environment. But as the latest scams and hacks have shown, almost anyone can be attacked. And since websites are the most common targets of perpetrators, it’s important that companies start employing solutions that can secure the trustable pages while identifying the risky ones. This is where SSL Certificates Chain Analysis API comes in.

In this article, we’ll learn what SSL certificates are and how the API’s features can be employed for added online security.

What are SSL Certificates?

An SSL certificate is a digital protocol that provides authentication to a website. It allows an encrypted connection between a domain and a visitor, verifies to users that a particular website is indeed what it claims to be, as well as confirms the confidentiality and the integrity of data being transmitted. SSL certificates are especially important to keep safe such sensitive information as:

  • Login credentials
  • Bank account details and financial transactions
  • Personally identifiable information
  •  Proprietary data
  •  Medical records
  • … and more

Understanding why SSL certificates are needed and how they work is crucial as they are indicative of Web trust. Let’s take a closer look.

What is an SSL Certificate Chain?

An SSL certificate chain is an ordered list of SSL certificates that allows a visitor’s browser to verify that a website is secure. It typically consists of the Certificate Authority (CA (News - Alert)), root CA certificate, intermediate certificate, and server certificate.

Every link in the SSL certificate chain is necessary, and each certificate needs to be issued by a trusted source. The reason for this is because it provides the ability to decrypt and encrypt information during data transfers. Any misconfiguration in the chain can result in errors on the part of the visitor which may lead to poor user experience.

You can learn more about SSL certificate chains in our article SSL Certificates Chain Analysis API: Exploring the Chain.

How Can an SSL Certificates Chain Analysis API Help in Cybersecurity

Software such as SSL Certificates Chain Analysis API works by inspecting a domain’s list of SSL certificates. It does so by looking into the details of the end-user, intermediate, and root certificates available and verifying the parameters of the chain against existing records to see if the certificates were issued by reliable sources.

Proper configurations can provide users with the following cybersecurity benefits:

Encrypted connections

Valid SSL certificate chains guarantee that the connection to a site’s web server is private and encrypted. This means that all online transactions between the user’s browser and the domain will remain safe from hackers’ interference, making sure that such threats as the dreaded man-in-the-middle attack are avoided.

Validating domain trustworthiness

Passing the stringent SSL certificates chain analysis process confirms websites’ reliability in handling confidential information. An example is by identifying if a website uses an Extended Validation certificate to know if the entity prioritizes sensitive data security or not.

Foolproof identification

Performing an SSL certificate chain analysis on a website will let users know if domains they’re dealing with have been compromised. For instance, the API can flag suspicious certifications, which can indicate a potential impersonation attack.

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Although there is no way to stop the growth of cybercrime, companies today can start building up their cyber defenses so they have the means to fight back against such aggression. Adding SSL Certificates Chain Analysis API to one’s arsenal of cybersecurity solutions makes for a better protected browsing journey.

About the Author

Jonathan Zhang is the founder and CEO of Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) — a data, tool, and API provider that specializes in automated threat detection, security analysis and threat intelligence solutions for Fortune 1000 and cyber-security companies. TIP is part of the Whois API Inc. family which is a trusted intelligence vendor by over 50,000 clients.



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