• SSL; More than Encryption

        Mar 29 2018, 8:34 PM

        by Brook Chelmo 1

        While doing an online search for “SSL Certificates” and one of the ads said “$4.99, Why Pay More?”  Without clicking on the ad I know what they are going to offer me; a simple domain validated (DV) SSL certificate.  This certificate will encrypt my site’s traffic at a basic level but this isn’t 1997; the business climate and threat landscape have changed and so have our requirements for security.  SSL is more than encryption.  We have to consider trust, security, service, certificate management & reliability.  While many Certification Authorities are cutting corners to compete with each other on price, Symantec is working around the clock to continually deliver best-in-class solutions.  At Symantec we believe in these core factors as does 91% of the fortune 500 and 94 of the top 100 financial institutions in the world.  Here’s why:

        1. Increased End-Consumer Trust

        • Trust Seal -- Trust seals suggest that websites are safe to interact with.  The Norton Secured Seal has been shown through independent research to be the most recognized trust seal on the Internet.  Offered only by Symantec, it is seen about 4 billion times per month on websites all around the world.  The seal ensures visitors that they are communicating with organizations that not only encrypt their traffic but also are legitimate organizations that have gone through Symantec’s strong authentication screening as well.
        • Visual Cue -- The “Green Bar” also represent that a site is trustworthy.   With Symantec EV Certificates, browsers will change the color of the address bar to green, serving as a cue for safe interaction.  DV certificates won’t provide for a visual cue to website visitors

        2. Stronger Business Authentication and Website Security

        • Authentication -- With every Symantec certificate, Symantec performs strong authentication to ensure that a website visitor can trust who they are communicating with.  Security-minded organizations realize that encryption alone is not enough and require, as a matter of policy, that all certificates issued for their organization have strong authentication.  On the other hand, domain validated certificates, like those that Let’s Encrypt intends to offer, will only provide encryption of data.   Thus, they will not prevent a credit card number or password from going to an encrypted website that may be fraudulent.
        • Scanning and Alerts -- Symantec products also secure customer websites with scanning for critical vulnerabilities and active malware.  Symantec proactively notifies customers about security risks within a customer’s unique environment and provides guidance to ensure that such issues are quickly and easily resolved. 

        3. Simplified Certificate Management and Live Worldwide Support

        • Management Tools -- Symantec enables customers to track and manage large volumes of certificates with a wide range of tools.  Organizations are often burdened with the complexity of managing a variety of SSL certificates that may include of self-signed, client certificates or SSL certificates that chain up to public roots.
        • Accessible Technical Support -- Symantec provides 24/7/365 support worldwide to ensure that customers’ sites stay up and running and secure, with an optional premium support that include SLA’s on problem escalation and resolution.  This is a critical component for organizations that need to ensure that their website operations remain.  A free offering like Let’s Encrypt rarely comes with any form of live support.

        4. Powerful Technical Capabilities and Advanced Options

        • Client Ubiquity -- As the longest operating Certification Authority, Symantec’s roots are in more clients than any other Certification Authority.  Organizations that want to support Always on SSL and connectivity with the greatest number of users choose Symantec to secure their transactions.
        • Advanced Certificate Options -- Symantec Secure Site Pro products include both RSA 2048 bit certificates and ECC 256 bit certificates which are optimal within Perfect Forward Secrecy.  These high security, high performance certificates are the future of SSL/TLS encryption and Symantec’s ECC roots are in more clients than any other Certification Authority.
        • Best in Class Revocation -- Symantec provides revocation information to clients through both the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) and Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs).  Both of these services are updated continually to communicate certificate revocation activity to clients worldwide.  The services are tuned to provide the fastest response times possible.   In the case of websites, OCSP response times can impact page load times and Symantec has invested in its infrastructure to provide OCSP responses in about 50 milliseconds for almost every major region in the world.  

        5. Reliable Security and Business  Assurances

        • Warranties -- Symantec offers the highest warranties of any Certification Authority.  These warranties can cover customers for losses of up to $1,750,000 from incorrect information contained on Symantec certificates.
        • Military-Grade Data Centers -- Symantec’s roots and signing services are protected by the most stringent physical, network, and logical security and process controls.   The hardened facilities provide our customers with confidence that certificate issuance for their domains will not be compromised.  With ten years of continuous uptime, Symantec’s robust continuity practices are the best in the industry.
        • Contractual Commitments -- Symantec customers have a contractual commitment from Symantec to maintain their products for the term of their contract.  Let’s Encrypt, as a non-profit, open-source Certification Authority, it will be difficult to offer such contractual guarantees, given the significant expenses associated with operating a publicly audited Certification Authority.
        • Focused investment – As the world’s largest security company, Symantec has both the resources and the motivation to ensure that the our SSL products are uncompromised.  Vulnerabilities like Heartbleed have clearly demonstrated that, despite the good intentions of OpenSSL, a non-profit organization with limited resources will be challenged to keep up with the rapidly-changing security threat landscape.

        Modern Security for Modern Needs

        Companies that know security understand they need to use modern-day security solutions in today’s environment and that SSL is more than just simple encryption.Please keep all of these factors in mind as you are building out your webserver security plans.For more information on Symantec SSL, please visit our website.

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      • New Infographic: Six things that can kill your website and how to stop them.

        Mar 29 2018, 11:06 PM

        by Andrew Horbury 2


        Your website is your window on the world – it’s your shop front, your brand on display and a key route to market and perhaps your most essential sales and marketing tool. And as such it critical to your business: and if something bad were to happen then it would be a disaster your shop could be closed, your reputation tarnished and visitors stopped coming. This is why website security is so important.

        We’ve designed this infographic to help educate you and help you understand six threats to your website and what you can do to prevent them.

        1. Website malware

        Web servers can be attacked by malware, compromising legitimate websites and using them to infect visitors is an increasingly popular tactic for online criminals: in 2012, Symantec saw a three-fold increase in this type of web attack[1].

        2. Malvertising

        Criminals can also sneak malware infections onto legitimate ad-funded sites using malicious advertising or ‘malvertising’. Last year, more than 10 billion ad impressions were compromised in this way[2].

        3. Search engine blacklisting

        Google is reported to block 10,000 sites a day[3]. Search engines scan websites for malware and, if they find any on your site, your site could be blacklisted. This means that they stop listing the site, stop sending traffic to it and, depending on a visitor’s browser, they may also display a warning about the infection before the visitor goes to your site, even if they enter the address directly.

        Big names like TechCrunch and the New York Times have been blacklisted because they were found to be inadvertently running infected ads.[4]


        4. Security warnings and expired certificates

        Imagine that you’re a consumer and you’re ready to buy something but as you click on the checkout button, your browser gives you a security warning because of an out of date SSL certificate. The odds that you will complete the transaction are pretty low. Indeed, you’d think twice about coming back to the site in future.

        5. Brand impersonation (phishing)

        Criminals use well-known names and brands to trick people into disclosing confidential information or installing malware. Often, they use fake websites to fool people. A more recent development has been the use of social media to lure people to fake websites where they disclose information, such as social media website passwords, in the hope of some reward such as free vouchers or a free phone.

        6. Customer security concerns

        With so much criminality and so many security concerns, it’s not surprising that people are wary when using websites and look for reassurance that they are safe. Trust marks, such as the Norton™ Secured Seal show people that you take security seriously. They also demonstrate that your site is scanned regularly for malware and other vulnerabilities.

        Choose the right partner

        With so much at stake, it has never been more important to choose a well-known, reputable security partner. Symantec already secures more than one million web servers worldwide[5]. If you’re looking for trust, security and confidence for your website, Symantec is the right partner. Read more in our whitepaper.

        [1] Symantec ISTR 18

        [2] Online Trust Alliance, accessed 12 March 2013,

        [4] ‘Google Flags Ad Network Isocket for Alleged Malware; chrome blocks TechCrunch, Cult of Mac, others (Updated)’, The Next Web, accessed 12 March 2013,

        [5] Includes Symantec subsidiaries, affiliates, and resellers.

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