Internet Communication and HTTP Fundamentals
The Internet is a boundless and faceless electronic communications channel, governed by a set of protocols that are collectively referred to as the Internet Protocol Suite. Together, these protocols set the standard rules for the transfer of information over the Web.
The first two protocols to be defined within the Internet Protocol Suite are also the most important: TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and IP (Internet Protocol). Combined, TCP/IP defines how computers and other electronic devices should be linked to the Internet, and how the data should be shared between them. As such, TCP/IP sets the foundation for basic Internet communication and provides the basis for the higher-level application protocols, like HTTP and Secure HTTPS, which are also packaged within the suite.
Building upon the TCP/IP communication standards, HTTP defines the rules for Internet communication between Web browsers and Web servers. Specifically, HTTP is used for sending requests from a client (Web browser) to a server (Web site), and for returning requested content (Web pages) back to the client from the server. HTTP communications are not secured, which means that they are at risk of online interception such as eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks. When an HTTP exchange is conducted over a Secure Sockets Layer connection, however, the resulting secure HTTPS exchange can be protected from such online attacks.
HTTP and SSL Security
Syntactically, the secure HTTPS protocol is identical to normal HTTP. Essentially, the two communications protocols function exactly the same way in facilitating the presentation of server data whenever an Internet user clicks on a link and makes a request to access the information. The difference, however, is that secure HTTPS protects the communication channel by using the SSL encryption protocol. Instead of sending the information in plain text, as with standard HTTP, secure HTTPS uses SSL to make plain text unreadable to anyone not possessing the special knowledge (or key) to decipher it. In using a mathematical algorithm to encrypt the data as it travels via HTTPS, SSL is able to mask the true meaning of the information and protect it from interception.
Entrust SSL Certificates Enable Secure HTTPS Connections
The market is saturated with the understanding of basic online security, making integrated security measures a commonplace expectation for consumers utilizing online services. Consumers expect any personal data they provide over a Web site to be confidential and protected, and, most often, will not consider your services or products unless they are convinced that such security is in place. Using Entrust security certificates, however, provides the visible protection that consumers demand.
Expanding upon the standard protections already built into a Web server, Entrust certificates enhance security with the encryption power of SSL, enabling secure HTTPS connections for your business transactions. When activated, secure HTTPS sessions are indicated by visible cues in the client's browser window: a little yellow padlock appears as well as a URL change from http:// to the appropriate secure https:// prefix.
Entrust certificates additionally offer proof of their owner's digital identity. Entrust, as a trusted SSL certificate provider, performs a comprehensive evaluation of the certificate applicant's information as part of the registration and issuance process. Upon issuance of the certificate, Entrust digitally signs and seals the certificate, rendering it a unique and authentic digital credential for the SSL cert holder. Authentication is essential to gaining consumer confidence; and when authentication is coupled with the observable protection of secure HTTPS, you have Entrust certificate solutions to show how serious your business is about online security.