7 Advantages and Disadvantages of SSL | Limitations & Benefits of SSL

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7 Advantages and Disadvantages of SSL | Limitations & Benefits of SSL

7 Advantages and Disadvantages of SSL | Limitations & Benefits of SSL
What is SSL ?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a type of protocol which secures confidential data over the internet through a process known as the encryption. Hence, the goal of SSL is to provide data privacy. For this purpose a secure connection between the web browser and the server is created.
A Website which has a SSL certificate will contain a small padlock before the website's URL. This means that the site is secured to conduct transactions. Al though SSL brings many advantages to your website there are potential disadvantages that many people are unaware. It is important to know the advantages as well as disadvantages of SSL before implementing them onto your site. 

In this article you will get the information on 7 Advantages and Disadvantages of SSL | Limitations & Benefits of SSL. From this post you will know the pros and cons of using SSL.

Let's get started,

Advantages of SSL

1. Security

The major goal of SSL certificate is to encrypt informations so that it can only be read by intended recipients. The information that gets passed through the internet has high chances of getting in hands of third parties. Since the SSL certificate encrypts data, random characters are inserted into them. Even if intruders be able to acquire these informations, they will not be able to understand them. Thus, SSL makes it ideal for protecting sensitive informations such as the User IDs, passwords and credit card numbers.

2. Authentication

As mentioned earlier data travels through multiple parties in internet. Therefore, it has greater tendency to get accessed by unintended third parties. SSL ensures that whatever the information that is present on your site reach to the correct server. For achieving this SSL uses a protection known as the Server certificate. This Server certificate makes sure that the SSL certificate provider is trusted by acting as a middle person between the browsers and SSL servers.

3. Reliability

Whenever a SSL certificate is used on a site, it provides verification. Hence, when visitors visit a site, it provides a sense of trust that this site is legitimate and not fake. Generally a SSL authenticate site will show a green lock on the address bar. This lock mentions that the site has taken security measures and reliable enough to make transactions.

4. Prevent Phishing

Occasionally users might receive phishing emails (Often in the form of advertisements and shiping affirmations) that directs links to another site. The sole purpose of these sites is to gather sensitive informations such as the credit card details. However it is nearly impossible for these sites to obtain a authentic SSL certificate. When the visitors don't notice a SSL certificate, they will probably will not enter any confidential informations.

5. Online Payments

All the payment card industries require sites to have a SSL certificate with at least 128 bit encryption to accept payments. Without a proper SSL certificate sites won't be able to accept payments from credit cards.

6. Software Requirements

SSL does not require the installation of client softwares. The only thing required is to connection to the internet through a standard web browser. Thus, the cost of software purchase, maintenance and management can be saved significantly. This can be beneficial for both small and large sized organizations.

7. SEO

Recently Google made announcements that having a SSL certificate is one of the factors to boost search engine rankings. The algorithm is made in such a way that sites with a SSL certificate will rank higher in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Almost all the sites that rank higher in Google does posses a SSL certificate.

Disadvantages of SSL

1. Performance

When a SSL certificate is used on a site, the speed of transactions will get drastically reduced. This happens because of the encryption and decryption of data before it can be used. However this performance slowdown will only be noticeable to the websites that has large number of visitors.

2. Cost

Purchasing and setting up a SSL certificate can be quite expensive. This is basically due to the maintenance involved and the verification process. However some of the hosting companies offer free SSL certificates, but it is not normally recommended due to various reasons. Depending on the type of certificate the cost can vary (From the level of identity verification and how many domains and subdomains the certificate is going to cover). 

3. Expiry

Occasionally the SSL certificate needs to be renewed. If it is not renewed time to time, there will be popup message stating that the SSL certificate has been expired which means that the site is not secure anymore. Hence, the customers can loose trust in conducting transactions. 

4. Data Integrity

Without an SSL certificate a website is more vulnerable to Man in the Middle attacks. Using a SSL certificate means that the site can be benefited from data integrity. All the data that is been stored inside the online servers are well protected from external threats.

5. Caching

Encrypted content will have a problem of caching, if the proxy caching system that is set up on the web browser is complex. To be able to handle this encryption there should be a server added that looks after the encryption before it reaches the caching server. Hence, all the visitors data are well encrypted when they are making a visit to the site.

6. Protocol Complications

If the SSL certificate isn't implemented properly, the files that should be served through HTTPS will be served via HTTP. Hence, there will be a warning message displayed to the visitors stating that their data is not protected.

7. Application Support

In its initial stages, SSL was only meant to support web based applications. Anything other than that requires purchasing of modules from application vendors. Additionally the setup process here isn't easy, it also requires changes in the in-house software.

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