Website Security Solutions - Authentication Services: Understanding The Authentication behind getting a SSL Certificate.

Created on Feb 05 2014, 5:08 PM by Dom SYMC

Within Authentication Services there are three types of SSL certificates. These SSL certificates each contain different features and authentication that are required in order to be issued. Understanding these differences can help you in knowing what you need to prepare for in order to get the certificate issued as fast as possible.

The Three Types Are:

Extended Validation (EV) SSL
Examples: Secure Site with EV, Secure Site Pro with EV, True business ID with EV, SSL Web Server with EV, MPKI for SSL EV validated

A premium business class SSL security product fully authenticated, visually confirming the highest level of authentication available among SSL certificates. It gives your customers two highly  visible ways to confirm that your web site is secure—the green address bar and the True Site Seal, while providing strong encryption to protect their confidential information.

Organization Validation (OV) SSL
Example: Secure Site SSL, Secure Site Pro, True business ID, SSL Web Server, SGC SuperCerts, CodeSigning, MPKI for SSL

A fully authenticated certificate that let’s your customers know that your site is trustworthy from a validated company and that you take their security seriously enough to get your SSL from a security company. For an affordable price, you can secure your Websites domain and display standard information regarding your organization on the certificate and with the True Site Seal - while providing strong encryption to protect their confidential information

Domain Validation (DV) SSL
Examples: SSL 123, Quick SSL Premium

It is the quickest way for you to get a certificate for your domain. It will not include any information about your company nor its location. With an automatic authentication and issuance process, it takes just minutes to get your certificate due to no Organization Validation. It is an inexpensive SSL that is fast and convenient.

Compare SSL Certificates:

NOTE: Regardless of the certificate type all SSL certificates require a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) to be submitted online during enrollment. CSR details for fully validated certificates must reflect the enrolling organization’s business information (i.e., the organization whose web site will be secured by the SSL certificate). If your CSR contains incorrect information, Authentication Customer Support cannot process your order, and you will have to create a new CSR and a new order with the correct information. For DV level certificates not having the correct information is not typically an issue unlike EV or OV level certificates.

Bottom line is the more accurate the information is on the order and on the CSR the faster the certificate will be issued.

Certificate Request Checklist.jpg

What Authentication does in order to validate a certificate....

What exactly is required to get a DV level certificate?

This is as automated process in which an email will be sent out to a Whois lookup for the domain that the certificate was enrolled for. You will have the option to select admin@, administrator@, hostmaster@, postmaster@, webmaster@ for this confirmation e-mail. Once the e-mail is received it is just a matter of approving the order. That’s it your certificate is issued within minutes.

What exactly is required to get an OV level certificate?

The validation process typically takes 1-2 business days. During this time, the Authentication team must perform the following steps to validate your certificate order with independent, third-party sources:

  • Authenticate your organization
  • Authenticate your domain
  • Verify your organization’s address
  • Verify your contact information

What exactly is required to get an EV level certificate?

EV certificates have a more vigorous authentication process than OV level certificates. If all the information on the order is accurate and the information that Authentication requires is readily available, then an EV certificate can be issued within little time.

Authentication must be able to confirm all of the following organizational registration requirements:

  • Official government agency records must include:
    • The organization's registration number.
    • The organization's date of registration/incorporation.
    • The organization's registered address (or the address of the organization's registered agent).
  • A non-government data source (such as Dun & Bradstreet) must include the organization's place of business address if it is not included in the Government agency records
  • If the organization has been registered for less than three years, Authentication must verify operational existence through one of the following means:
    • Through a non-government data source (such as Dun & Bradstreet)
      - or -
    • By verifying the organization has an active demand deposit account (such as a checking account) with a regulated financial institution through a Lawyer’s Opinion Letter or directly with the financial institution.

Domain Authentication Requirements:

To qualify for an Extended Validation SSL Certificate, domain registration details must reflect the full Organization name as included in the Certificate Signing Request (CSR). Where domain registration does not reflect the organization name as identified in the certificate request, positive confirmation of the Organization's exclusive right to use the domain name is required from the registered domain administrator or via a Lawyer Opinion Letter.

  • The domain must be registered with ICANN or IANA registrar (for ccTLDs). Domain registration details must be updated to reflect the organization name as included on the certificate request.
  • Where domain registration is private, the domain registrar is required to unblock the privacy feature.
  • The Organization's certificate approver must confirm knowledge of the organization's domain ownership during the verification call.

Organization's Certificate Approver (Corporate Contact) Authentication Requirements:

To qualify for an Extended Validation SSL Certificate, the Certificate Approver identified in the certificate request must be employed by the requesting organization and have appropriate authority to obtain and delegate Extended Validation certificate responsibilities.

Authentication must be able to confirm all of the following about the Certificate Approver:

  • Certificate Approver's identity, title, and employment through an independent source.
  • Certificate Approver is authorized to obtain and approve EV certificates on behalf of the Organization. This can be verified through one of the following methods:
    • A Lawyer's Opinion Letter
    • A Corporate Resolution
    • Directly contacting the CEO, COO, or similar executive at the organization and confirming the authority of the organizational contact. If no public records are available regarding the CEO, COO, or other executive, Authentication will attempt to contact the organization’s Human Resources department for contact details.

Order Verification Requirements:

Authentication must verify the Certificate Signing Request and all certificate details with the Certificate Approver identified in the certificate order. Authentication must contact the Certificate Approver using an independently-verified telephone number.

This telephone number is obtained through one of the following methods:

  • By researching qualified telephone databases to find a telephone number. Ensure your organization’s primary telephone number is listed in a public telephone directory.
  • As provided in a Lawyer's Opinion Letter.
  • As confirmed during a site visit conducted by Authentication.

Additional Verification requirements:

If Authentication is unable to verify any of the required information on your certificate application, they may request you to provide a Professional opinion from a lawyer or accountant to verify the information.

When it comes time for your organization to get a certificate keep in mind the three different types EV, OV,  DV, and what it takes to be authenticated to receive them. Already knowing the three different types and the validation procedures that goes behind them will make it a smoother ride for you to get a certificate for your organization.

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