Cyber attacks happen more than anyone likes but in January 2017, an extra layer of protection will be enforced by Google. Google is set to begin allowing pop-ups when a website does not have an SSL certificate which will cause many businesses to suffer if they do not comply with the new rules.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layers. These certificates create additional security to the standard HTTP communications. You can tell if a website has an SSL certificate when the web address includes “https” which is different from “http” because of the additional security. While it is important for a website to show “http” in their web address as a level of security on a website, especially for e-commerce sites, the SSL certificates add the cryptographic component that is essential for added security.
How Does an SSL Certificate Provide Extra Protection?
Without an SSL certificate, information is processed directly to a website server which leaves it susceptible to attackers. An SSL certificate will ensure that all communication between a customer computer and the server is encrypted in a secure way so the information cannot be easily obtained by attackers. The information goes through multiple levels of security to verify both parties are who they say they are. This added protection makes doing business online safer and more reliable. If there is an issue on either side of the communication, it will stop until it can be remedied. This can stop hackers in their tracks.
How Will it be Enforced?
Beginning in January of 2017, Google will start popping up alerts on websites that either require login information or have payment fields that do not yet have an SSL certificate for their website. This is an alert that will show the potential customer that the website may not be protected and precaution should be used when approaching a transaction. While these pop ups will be
friendly alerts, they will begin to become more harsh after a few months when the alerts become more than warning of possible safety issues. Instead, they will show that the website is not safe to do business with. While the customer will still be able to make their own decision about continuing use on the website, it will be strongly encouraged that they do not proceed. Additionally, these pop up notifications will apply to all websites, not just those that require a login or have payment fields.
What Can Happen if a Business Does Not Get One for Their Website?
Many websites request data from their visitors. E-commerce websites are some of the most dangerous if they do not have extra security measures because sensitive information, such as a credit card number, login information for accounts, and other personal information, is transferred. For customers who are concerned about cyber security and keeping their information safe, seeing these pop ups will likely prevent them from doing business with the company online. There are many businesses who only have an online presence and if they fail to comply with these new regulations, they could suffer a big hit to their profits.
What Should Businesses Do Going Forward?
The first thing that should be done is the company should get and SSL certificate for their website. Especially if the website is an online merchant, there is a responsibility that falls on the company to protect the private information of their customers. This does not just protect the customers, but also the company. It will no longer leave you as susceptible to hacking and, therefore,
will keep you in good standing with your customers. If you store private information in a database, an SSL certificate can help protect the data. Additionally, if your website requires anyone to log in with a username and password, and SSL certificate will provide you with adequate security that your customers will appreciate. You should get an SSL certificate prior to January 2017 so you do not run the risk of losing customers because of the security pop up. If you do not have an e-commerce website or one that requires a log in or payment fields to be filled out, you should still consider getting your SSL certificate so you can maintain your validity online. These requirements will be enforced along all websites eventually and since it is starting soon, now is a great time to protect your website, your company, and your customers by getting an SSL certificate.