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What does your security certificate of your business say about you?

When researching a company, one of the first things anyone does is look at their website. While this tells you a lot about the business itself, you can also tell a lot about its commitment to security.

 

If you're trying to market to other businesses, this is something your prospective partners will likely have in mind. It is highly likely some form of private data will be shared or transferred during this process, so a certificate will go a long way to ensuring the other side of your online defences.

 

What certificate?

 

If you want something to display your level of safety online, you should invest in an SSL certificate. These are issued by professional companies, which evaluate your current protection and award a matching qualification. More often than not, they will look at your level of SSL.

 

SSL, or secure sockets layer, is an encryption protocol used to prevent others from reading the data. There are different levels of encryption, such as 64 bit, 128 bit and 256 bit, which represent the range of possible encryptions. Consequently, the more bits available, the harder it is to crack.

 

This certificate is often displayed on the company's website and you can always request to see it if it is not. When you head to a company's website, you might also see part of the address bar turn green. This shows the certificate has an extended validation, showcasing it is of a higher standard.

 

How common are the threats?

 

While it's all well and good to talk about security as a benefit to your image, the needs for security are still important and are becoming increasingly so. In the last 12 months alone a number of big firms, including Adobe, have had data intrusions and theft of customer information.

 

This can risk a public backlash and other negative results in addition to personal financial loses if credit card information gets taken.

 

A survey by Pew Research in America found 18% of respondents had personal information stolen online. This was up from the 11% in a survey 6 months prior. So, between potential customers and some of the world's largest businesses, there is clear evidence this threat does and can happen.

 

In addition to reassuring customers, staying on top of security with the best encryptions and measures is an investment worth taking.