FAQ: What is SSL, and why do I need it?

SSL, also known as Secure Sockets Layer, is a security protocol developed by Netscape that is used to secure transmissions of data across the web.  As an industry standard, it establishes an encrypted link between the web server and the browser to ensure that all data transferred between the two stays private from outside hackers.  The SSL protocol requires that a digital certificate be installed on the web server, which SmartFile has, and produces a Private Key and a Public Key.

SSL integrates the elements of encryption and authentication to provide the utmost security in online data transfer.  Authentication basically ensures that the certificate is installed on the correct, authorized domain.  Encryption makes all information illegible to those not authorized to see it, instilling privacy in all data transfers.

You can tell if a site is secure simply by looking at the URL.  When a secure SSL connection is established, the URL will change from “http://” to “https://”.   The web browser receives the site’s SSL Certificate, checking to make sure the certificate is not expired, a trusted authority issued the certificate, and that the company it was issued to is using the certificate.  If the criteria are not met, the browser will normally issue a warning to the user to let them know the site is not being protected by SSL encryption.

SmartFile is a business file mangement platform that gives you more control, compliance and security.