Do you run a B2B business with an active online presence? If so, then you must be concerned about your cybersecurity and data protection practices. Unless you do that, security breaches such as supply chain attacks, ransomware, man-in-the-middle attacks, and phishing attacks could ruin your market reputation. B2B businesses thrive on customer retention, and therefore endangering customer data by not investing in the right security measures could sabotage your business.
There are two things you need to watch out for — on-premise security measures and in-transit security measures when it comes to cybersecurity. For a minute, let us assume that you and your clients have all the on-premise security essentials in place, including updated software, firewall, antivirus, etc.…
In that case, your only concern should be the in-transit data. This can very well be taken care of with an SSL certificate. Now, if you are thinking of buying a cheap SSL certificate, then you probably don’t know much about this technology, so let’s begin with that.
What is an SSL Certificate?
If you wonder what an SSL certificate is and whether it is any different from the TLS certificate, then no worries. We will tell you everything there is to know about these two technologies. The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, sometimes called the Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate refers to the technology that encrypts communication between the client and the server.
Primarily, Netscape developed the SSL technology way back in 1995 to uphold data integrity and prevent unauthorized access. However, since 1996, the SSL technology has not been updated, and what we currently use is the TLS, which makes use of the encryption protocol. So, the TLS is the successor of SSL, and therefore the two terms are used interchangeably. So, whenever you see a website that shows ‘HTTPS’ or a green padlock in the URL bar, then you can be sure that it is encrypted with an SSL certificate.
How does an SSL Certificate work?
SSL certificates make use of cryptography to encrypt the in-transit data by deploying the public-private key encryption. To get started with it, you need to install the desired type of SSL certificate on the webserver that hosts your website. Installing a valid SSL certificate enables end-to-end encryption, which is also possible through a self-signed certificate but is not recommended.
For an SSL certificate to be valid, it must be duly signed by a Certifying Authority and must be digitally signed with the CA’s private key. You can buy a cheap SSL certificate and install it in less than fifteen minutes, but only if you opt for a domain validated SSL.
As a B2B business, you probably make use of multiple subdomains and extensions. So you must consider a more advanced SSL certificate like the Wildcard SSL or the Organization Validated SSL. Although all types of SSL certificates use the same encryption protocol, they offer different types of validations.
Why should I install an SSL Certificate?
If you are still wondering whether you need an SSL certificate for your B2B business’s official website, then read on. Below listed are some of the core benefits that come with installing the right SSL certificate.
Ø Secure Data Transmission
Transmission of customer data through the internet can be intercepted by cybercriminals who may then use it against your customers’ best interests. As the internet transmits communication through multiple computers or servers, there could be a vulnerability at some transmission point that a cybercriminal might exploit. An SSL certificate prevents this through the public-private key encryption, ensuring that the data remains accessible only to the intended recipient.
As a business owner, you might have stumbled upon the term ‘HTTPS’. You may be aware of its role in complying with the various data privacy and cybersecurity laws and regulations. For example, the HTTPS is mandatory under the GDPR and PCI DSS.
The HTTPS is recommended because it is the secure version of its predecessor, the HTTP protocol. Unlike the HTTP protocol, the HTTPS does not transmit the data as plain text but rather encrypts it through cryptography. This prevents unauthorized interception of personally identifiable and sensitive data such as addresses, phone numbers, email IDs, passwords, credit card details, etc…
Every business strives hard to rank higher in Google’s search results, and one way of doing that is by installing an SSL certificate. Back in 2014, Google emphasized the significance of SSL and its impact on search engine rankings. So, having one installed on your website would give your business higher visibility and generate more organic traffic.
Join the HTTPS Everywhere Movement
Let us assume you did everything right and have a decent number of visitors coming to your website. Now your goal should be to establish yourself as a credible business and turn your visitors into customers. In 2020, this won’t be possible without installing an SSL certificate on your website.
That’s because Google Chrome, the browser with the largest market share, has now adopted the ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ approach. So, it flags websites that do not run on the HTTPS protocol by alerting the user of potential security threats. While that is something you can overcome with a basic domain validated SSL certificate, using a more advanced validation is recommended.
Declare your Legitimacy
B2B businesses such as digital marketers, SaaS product developers, and remote consultants who have little to no physical interaction with their clients must use advanced SSL certificates. We recommend the Organization Validated (OV) SSL certificate, which is slightly expensive but comes with many benefits for such businesses. Before issuing an OV SSL certificate, the Certifying Authority performs a comprehensive validation of a business’s existence. It, therefore, brings along more credibility to B2B businesses and professionals that operate remotely.
We have discussed everything you need to know about SSL certificates as a B2B business owner. As you may have realized, a B2B business needs to avoid buying a cheap SSL certificate to save a few bucks. Instead, B2B business owners must consider investing in one based on the level of validation they seek. It does not matter how big or small your B2B business is because as long as it is credible, there is hope.