There has been a manifold increase in the number of internet users. This has made many businesses go the online route to reach out to more of their audience. Gradually, the website has become the best source of leads for most companies. As more users go online to search for solutions, hackers are also increasingly targeting websites to get hold of critical customer data. The number of cyber-attacks has increased.
Businesses must thwart these attacks and must deploy adequate steps to prevent them. The threat to data security is equal for the industry behemoths as well as small companies. Studies show that data breaches had exposed around 36 billion records in the first half of 2020. It is recommended that businesses with multiple digital assets choose the right kind of SSL certificate to secure them. In this article, we will learn more about them and how they can help companies to thwart a cyberattack.
What is a Wildcard SSL?
The Wildcard SSL is a digital certificate that allows businesses to secure a primary domain and unlimited first-level sub-domains. For example, if your website has several sub-domains, it would not be easy to manage several different SSL certificates. It is where the Wildcard SSL certificate is helpful. You can remove the hassles of having to secure the sub-domains with separate certificates.
Several businesses utilize the sub-domains for various other functions. Some of them can be client-facing too. The Wildcard SSL certificate helps to secure all these sub-domains together in one place. The certificate has a wildcard character in the field to include the domain name. It helps the certificate to secure several first-level sub-domains under the chosen primary domain.
How does Wildcard SSL work?
The certificate uses the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), and all the first-level sub-domains are protected. When using the Wildcard, in the field for the domain, you must use an asterisk (*) to show where the sub-domain would be.
For example, the certificate that has been issued for *.website.com will also support blog.website.com, news.website.com, careers.website.com, mail.website.com, account.website.com, etc.
Once the certificate is installed, the communication taking place between the visitor’s browser and the webserver will be encrypted. They are available only in Domain Validation and Organisation Validation levels only. You can install a cheap Wildcard SSL from CheapSSLShop to ensure the security of all the first-level sub-domains.
The server would have a private key that can unlock the message. The second-level sub-domains cannot be covered within the same certificate. You must have another Wildcard SSL certificate for the second-level sub-domains or buy a multi-domain wildcard SSL cert. The private key is shared across all the sub-domains.
Benefits of having a Wildcard SSL
Ensures user trust
Like all other SSL certificates, the Wildcard SSL certificates also ensure that users can safely visit any website where it has been installed. The user can see the padlock on the address bar too. Browsers like Google mark insecure websites as “Not Secure.” If you install the certificate, these warnings are removed too. Some Certificate Authorities (CAs) also provide a Trust Seal that can be placed at prominent areas on the website. E-commerce websites can place it at the checkout page to improve customer trust.
It is budget-friendly
You must be aware that buying multiple certificates would cost you more. It could be a substantial financial burden that could be difficult for some companies to bear. A single Wildcard SSL certificate costs much less than that of several regular certificates. It is ideal for smaller companies. Most CAs provide world-class customer services too.
It can be managed easily.
Can you imagine the efforts of the webmaster if multiple certificates had to be procured for several sub-domains? The Wildcard SSL certificate ensures that the management of certificates is streamlined as the webmasters have to handle a single certificate. It is easier to track them when they are up for renewal. Moreover, putting up customer service requests are also streamlined as you have to talk to a single service provider.
The Wildcard SSL certificates do not have a long-drawn authentication procedure like the Extended Validation certificates. The Wildcard SSL certificate supports only two validation types, viz. Domain Validation (DV) and Organisation Validation (OV). The certificates do not take much time to be issued. The DV certificates can be issued within a few minutes. However, the OV certificates take more time and may take even three days to be issued.
Supports several sub-domains
These certificates can secure several sub-domains, thereby allowing you to collate your data security resources in one place. It removes the hassles of having to manage multiple service providers at the same time. It is ideal for larger companies with several digital assets. It also helps e-commerce companies that have several subdomains to be secured.
SEO benefits from search engines
Like all other SSL certificates, installing the Wildcard SSL certificate can help improve SEO brownie points. Search engines like Google provide importance to web security. Google has provided HTTPS with a lightweight status when ranking websites during a keyword search to ensure internet security.
While companies may spend resources to spruce up their SEO activities, a simple installation of a Wildcard SSL certificate can secure all the first-level sub-domains and help in enhancing SEO. Moreover, it will also improve trust factors. There will be more footfalls on the site which will also improve search rankings.
The price of the certificates
The cost of the certificates can vary according to the validation level and across different CAs. From example, Comodo Positive SSL Wildcard price starts at $45 and RapidSSL Wildcard certificate price starts at $68. The subscription timeframe is also responsible for variation in the price. Most of the premium brands offer additional features like firewalls, malware scanning, Trust Seal, etc.
Businesses must ensure they have robust systems in place to prevent a cyberattack. You can purchase Wildcard SSL from best Wildcard SSL certificate providers that can provide security to your customer data at lowest price. E-commerce websites that must secure several subdomains must utilize these certificates to prevent a data breach. It ensures a lower cost of ownership and improves certificate management too.