What is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)?

Technology - What is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

SSL is a security protocol that guarantees privacy, authentication and data integrity to Internet communications. It was the first encryption-based protocol used for encryption on the web; eventually leading to Transport Layer Security (TLS).

When a browser or web server attempts to communicate with another device, it requests that they identify themselves by sending a copy of their SSL certificate. This helps verify the organization’s trustworthiness and that no modifications have been made.


SSL is a cryptographic protocol designed to encrypt communication over the internet or an internal network. Although it was the leading cryptographic protocol until 1999 when Transport Layer Security (TLS) replaced it, SSL continues to be widely used today.

SSL encrypts data using algorithms that make it unreadable during transit from server to browser or system to user. This helps protect sensitive information like credit card numbers, personal details and passwords from unauthorized access and theft.

When browsing a website, its URL will usually begin with a padlock icon to signify that it uses SSL. This provides peace of mind that your information is safe on this secure platform and you can feel confident entering it.

To establish an encrypted connection between a browser and web server, the browser sends a certificate verification message to the server. Afterward, the server responds with digitally signed acknowledgment to initiate an encrypted session.

SSL not only establishes a secure connection between browser and web server, but it also performs authentication and encryption between them. This enables businesses to foster trust among each other and their customers while safeguarding confidential data from prying eyes.

SSL uses both public key and symmetric key encryption to encrypt data securely, making it uncrackable even by the intended recipient. This helps safeguard sensitive information, making SSL the technology behind today’s most advanced Internet security measures.


SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol designed to create encrypted links between computers or devices. Its primary goal is to protect data from being intercepted during transmission, often used between browsers and web servers.

SSL was initially developed by Netscape in 1995 for the purpose of protecting privacy and authentication on the internet. It became the primary encryption protocol used for online transactions until 1999 when its successor TLS (Transport Layer Security) took its place as the leading encryption standard.

When visiting a website that uses SSL, you should see a padlock icon in your browser’s address bar. This indicates the site is using the SSL protocol to encrypt your connection with it so hackers cannot view what you’re doing or read your information.

SSL protocol works by creating encrypted connections between a server and browser that are then authenticated by a certificate authority. Your browser uses this certificate authority to confirm the legitimacy of the web server, as well as confirm its public key is valid. Afterward, it binds itself with the server using the session key created during this process.

This symmetric key is used to encrypt all communication between the browser and server, and it has only one use during the entire session – meaning it cannot be reused or stolen by a third party.

Establishing a secure connection requires the browser and web server to exchange their certificates. If these certificates are trusted, they exchange private keys and create a symmetric key that is only used during that particular session and not shared with anyone else or organization.

Once an SSL connection is established, both the browser and web server utilize this symmetric key to encrypt all communications between them. This makes it impossible for anyone to read what the browser and server are exchanging, with data only valid during that session’s duration.

How it works

SSL, short for Secure Sockets Layer, is a technology used to encrypt any sensitive information sent between browser and web server – such as credit card details, passwords or bank account numbers. It works by using an established protocol for communications, credentials to establish identity and third party verification of those credentials.

A server (website) with an SSL certificate identifies itself to the browser by sending a copy of its public key and certificate issued by a Certificate Authority. The browser then checks this root against a list of trusted CAs to confirm it is unrevoked, unexpired and valid for the site being accessed.

The browser then uses this information to determine whether or not it trusts the certificate, allowing the transaction to proceed. Once identified by both parties, they encrypt any exchanged data so that only those intended recipients can access it.

SSL helps prevent phishing sites, which imitate your website’s look and feel. It also enhances your site’s security by making it much harder for hackers to steal customer information.

Implementing SSL on your website has numerous advantages and can significantly enhance user experience. Businesses especially benefit from it as it helps meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. Furthermore, it improves brand perception and makes users more likely to visit again. Moreover, some studies suggest that using SSL can reduce website load time up to three times depending on website size and the number of transactions processed.


Secure socket layer (SSL) is an industry-standard security protocol that creates an encrypted link between a server and client over the internet. While its importance and benefits may be obvious to those familiar with internet protocols, many businesses still lack awareness of its significance and what it can do for them.

SSL encryption effectively safeguards your customers’ private information and prevents hackers from accessing customer credit card details or usernames and passwords. It also improves search rankings if desired, giving visitors peace of mind while shopping or browsing your site.

What is the most secure and efficient way to protect your business? Reach out to our experts today to discover more about how SSL can safeguard customers’ data and boost profits. It’s time to prioritize your customers – let us assist in setting up a free trial of our secure cloud server so that you can learn more.

What is SSL and how does it work?