Importance of SSL Certificates for Small Business Websites
Small businesses are like prey in the wild. Predators tend to hunt them down wherever they reside. A survey conducted showed that 60% of small businesses that endure a cyber-attack are knocked out of the market within six months of operation. Small businesses are a personal favorite for many culprits. So really the importance of SSL certificate in small business cannot be over stressed. These secure socket layer (SSL) certificates are especially very important in preventing such brute attacks. Another survey by Verizon showed that 43 % of all data breaches happen to small startups. This piece of statistic is worrying and speaks volumes all by itself.
This article will discuss various reasons why you need to have these SSL certificates. But before that let us discuss what SSL certificates are. They are digital certificates that serve as a foundation for internet security. They form an encrypted channel of communication between the server and the browser, so no unauthorized personnel can access the information being shared. The importance of SSL certificates cannot be over emphasized.
Here is why SSL certificates are important in small businesses:
- They are a must for all online transactions–
If you own an ecommerce business then you know that SSL certificates are a requirement for the startup. It should have an encryption of at least 256-bit as the minimum requirement for any standard SSL certificate. They will protect your payment gateway and also protect the clients’ credentials, so you can rest easy knowing your store and all its accounting details are well protected.
- Guards from information theft-
The chain of servers that any piece of information passes through in order to reach the intended recipient is very long. So, if you don’t have an SSL certificate to your site the odds of the information landing in the wrong hands are pretty unfavorable. What SSL does, it encrypts the information and makes it only accessible by the intended recipient. This comes in very handy especially when sending emails to clients or when communicating with service providers.
- Search engine optimization
Google recently updated their algorithms to favor websites with SSL certificates. Websites with these digital certificates enjoy better search engine rankings and get more visibility. This translates to increased traffic to your site and this is easily converted to sales for your business. So you can see the importance of SSL certificate in small business.
- A sense of security–
The padlock and ‘https’ at the URL bar on many websites gives visitors a sense of security when they are on your website. Remember, customer satisfaction is everything. This coupled up with the fact that identity theft is fast on the rise requires one to employ SSL certificates that build customer confidence in your site.
- A must have for websites before being published on Google-
To get your website published on the world’s largest search engine, you must use SSL certificates. This has been the norm since 2018, so don’t think for a moment this change will not affect you.
Let us also discuss the types of SSL certificates.
They are categorized into various groups based on
- Number of secured domains
- Validation level
Under validation levels they are further divided into three levels
- Domain validation certificates– they show that a domain is ownership of an SSL requestor and is verified.
- Extended validated certificates-these require organizations to provide business related documents and third party business directories to prove they own the company.
- Organization validated certificates– these ones show that you own the domain and they further verify that you own the organization in your particular location by verifying the business documents.
Also, under number of secured domains we have:
- Single domain- it has only one domain or subdomain.
- Wildcard– it is a type of single-domain certificates but supports an unlimited number of subdomains of a main domain.
- Multi domain – supports multiple domains and subdomains using only one certificate.
Let us further expound on single domain SSL certificates:
They protect a single domain. What this means is that, it cannot secure any other domain. They are mostly suited for small and medium businesses.
There are also lists of benefits you will enjoy if you use a single domain SSL certificate. These are:
- They are available at DV, OV and EV levels
- It will activate the SSL visual indicators. These indicators are the grey padlock and the ‘https’ text.
- Mostly come in 256-bit encryption. Makes it next to impossible for hackers to surpass this level of encryption
- They are very cheap.
- Are very easy to install – install in minutes of issuance.
Things you need to consider when deciding which SSL certificate to use
- First factor to consider is to define the type of website you wish to protect.
- Decide what type of protection you need- choose between organization validated, extended or domain validation.
- You also need to know whether you need protection for single or multiple domains.
Lastly, SSL certificates are not an option for small businesses just starting up, they are a necessity. A survey by InsuranceBee’s Cyber Survey showed that 83% of small and medium businesses lack the funds to come to terms with the effects of a cyber-attack. So for many businesses there is no coming back from cyber-attacks. Take the first step and get a Single Domain SSL Certificate or any other digital certificate that will safeguard you from being a part of these sad statistics. Once more, the importance of ssl certificates in small businesses cannot be over-stressed.