What do I do with SSL encryption?

SSL is the predecessor of TLS, the Transport Layer Security Protocol. This is an encryption method for data transmission on the Internet. SSL is mainly used to establish a connection to protected websites. Areas of application are all Internet services where users have to enter sensitive data, such as is the case with online banking.

If SSL is used to establish a connection, certificates are first issued: The Internet user enters the address of the desired website in the browser and this sends a request to the web server. This then sends the browser a public key and a certificate, which the browser then checks for authenticity. Once this check is successfully completed, the browser generates a random number based on the web server’s public key and sends it back to the web server. This way only the web server can decipher the key generated by the browser using its own key. As soon as the certificates are sent, Internet users are protected against phishing attacks. The exchange of keys is an additional protection that is considered extremely secure.

Due to the calculations required to create the key, the TLS or SSL process is very computationally intensive. The calculations are mainly carried out on the server side, so that it takes a particularly long time to establish a connection to websites that are hosted on a low-performance web server. SSL cannot be used for connections with multiple recipients who are only supposed to receive part of a message. This is because encryption via SSL always affects the entire message.

You can find further information on the topic here.

SSL certificates for all organizations and application scenarios can be found here.