SSL Certificate – What is it?
The Secure Sockets Layer certificate, or for short SSL certificate, is a useful cryptographic protocol that serves for authenticating the identity of a website.
Secure Sockets Layer is a data file that produces an encrypted connection between a browser and a server. When they connect, the SSL certificate is verified. That allows accomplishing a communication between them that is protected. The result is protected access to the user’s sensitive data, for instance, email address, payment specifications, and so on. In addition, only the particular user and the website are allowed to examine that info.
As a user, usually, it is very easy to identify visually if a website holds an SSL certificate or not. In case there is an added “S” appearing after “HTTP,” the website has such a digital certificate.
How does it work?
It starts when a user wants to visit your website and connect to it. If you already hold an SSL certificate installed, the server is going to transfer it to the device of the user. Next, the user’s browser is going to utilize the public key of the certificate and decide if it is genuine, and also, it will create a symmetric session key. Then the server is able, with its private key, to decrypt the symmetric session key. So now both participants have trust in each other. If it is needed, they can utilize the session key for other further decryption and encryption. This process is also commonly referred to as an SSL handshake.
Types of SSL certificates
Domain Validation (DV SSL). This type of SSL certificate is actually cost-effective, plus getting it is easy. With it, you receive a basic level of encryption and security. In order to get one, the Certificate Authority (CA) is going to check through email if actually, the one appealing for the certificate is the true owner of the registered domain name. Moreover, the CA is going to review if the email you presented is matching with the one registered for the domain in the WHOIS record. Then, you are going to receive a message, and in case your response is accurate, the DV certificate is quickly issued. Finally, you should receive it in a file that you simply add to your website.
The DV SSL is suitable for websites, such as portfolios, blogs, that are not operating with the sensitive data of the users.
Organization Validation (OV SSL). This type is more pricey compared to DV SSL, and the process is more time-consuming because it’s more detailed. Moreover, the level of encryption that it offers is higher, plus it strongly authorizes the company’s integrity and legitimacy. The CA is going to check the company’s information, including name, current physical address, telephone number, and domain ownership, to prove that it is actually a reliable organization. In case the CA decides that your company is authentic, the OV SSL can be published in a few days. It is going to present the company’s name, city, and country where it exists. This certificate is suitable for larger companies and also for government agencies.
Extended Validation (EV SSL). This type of certificate provides a pretty strong level of encryption, security, and company integrity authentication. Yet, compared with the previous two, the EV SSL takes a longer time and is more expensive to get. The CA makes some extra steps to validate your company, such as examining legal documentation and more. Typically businesses that handle a lot of continuous transactions are the ones requiring such certificates. It is a necessity for them to ensure security for their users and make sure every payment or data transfer is protected. Such organizations are the different financial institutions, banks, global brands, government, e-commerce enterprises, tech, and more.
FTP is one of the protocols that are a lot popular. Moreover, it has been around since 1971. In present days, it could be implemented in some interesting situations. So, let’s take a minute to explain a little bit more about it.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) explained.
File Transfer Protocol, or just FTP for short, is a standard communications protocol used to transfer files between devices over a network. In addition, the two have a TCP/IP (Internet) connection. As a network protocol connecting a user and a server, FTP gives the ability for users to download different files, pages, or programs which are available on other services. When the user requires to download the data to their personal device, they are utilizing FTP.
It is important to note that FTP does not apply encryption. For the purpose of authentication, it only relies on cleartext usernames and passwords. Unfortunately, that makes the transference of information sent with FTP defenseless to common practices of impersonation and other types of attacks.Yet, there is SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) which is able to provide secure transfer of files.
What are the advantages?
- It provides schedule transfers.
- With FTP, you are able to transfer very large files.
- It is possible to renew an interrupted FTP connection.
- With it, you are able to send several directories with files at the same time. That way, you speed up the transfer process a lot.
When to use it?
- It is common to use File Transfer Protocol to download big files over the Internet.
- It is possible to use it for uploading an extensive file to your web hosting.
- It is a great option when you want to make a backup of your website.
Interesting uses of FTP
- You can collect data for connected devices – The number of IoT devices is increasing, and all of the machines are connected to the Internet, like laptops, computers, tablets. You can get all of the data and transfer it over a wireless network without the need for human interaction. By setting up automated FTP transfers, the data transfers regularly.
- Content distribution network (CDN) – Large media content organizations and different radio and TV shows require quick and stable data transfer. That way they achieve shows to air on time. The ability of FTP to carry huge amounts of data is a benefit for them.
- E-commerce business – Online shopping is great, and it has a lot of benefits. Yet, there is a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes. Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) assists e-commerce companies by transferring the information to different essential for the company systems, like analytics. That way, the organization can keep moving forward.
- Third-Party Logistics (3PL) – We all desire things to happen as fast as possible. A lot of 3PL services utilize secure FTP for sending packages and transaction data. In addition, they have to share information fast and keep the order fulfillment correct.
- Mars Roving – Due to its reliability, one of the most critical photographs of a generation was trusted for transfer through FTP. It was set up as an automated process to send images from Mars to Earth. The File Transfer Protocol was capable of handling it.
IP – What is it?
Internet protocol (IP) establishes a collection of communication rules. The purpose is to control the form of all data sent within local networks and the Internet.
IP sets the most suitable arrangements for packets to transport the data till they are delivered, and it also includes many forms of addressing. Additionally, it routes datagrams over networks. Therefore, the transfer of data packets from an origin to their target point depends upon IP addresses.
IP addresses servers to identify different servers, routers, websites, computers, smartphones, Internet of Things (IoT) throughout the Internet. It makes communication between devices and exchanging data possible.
IPv4 address is the older but more commonly used Internet Protocol. It has been around since the beginning of the 80s. The 4th version of Internet Protocol was launched in 1981 and became in use in 1982. As we mentioned, like Internet Protocol (IP), its goal is to set all of the rules for communication. For example, from how the data packets have to be sent, to what occurs with them after, and should they be received, and so on.
IPv4 holds one fundamental feature. It is the chance to apply the best-effort delivery model. That means it is not necessary to establish a connection between the two points completely. However, it just has to try to send a message and actually don’t even have to wait to identify if it was successfully sent or not. For that reason, it is perfect for the Internet.
IPv4 addresses are quite short and easy to use. This is because they are 32-bit addresses performing the role of an ID card of every connected host.
They hold 4 groups of numbers that are with maximum 3 digits in each group.
Let’s see, for example, the IPv4 address of google.com: 184.108.40.206
Actually, Google holds many servers and has IPv6 addresses, so the example is just one of many IP addresses it holds.
Structure of IPv4 address
The IPv4 address’s structure is simple and basically looks like that: x.x.x.x. With the x is represented an octet with a number from 0 to 255. The numbers are separated with dots, so every IP version 4 address has four octets and three dots.
It is a 32-bit number, which uniquely recognizes a network interface on a machine. Every number stands for an 8-bit field and describes a byte of the IPv4 address. For that interpretation of the bytes in an IPv4 address, it is often presented as the dotted-decimal format.
Parts of the IPv4 address.
Additionally, the bytes could be divided into two parts – the network part and the host part.
Let’s use an example of IPv4 address: 220.127.116.11
The first two octets and the first two dots (18.104.22.168) represent the network part. With it is defined as the particular number that is assigned to an individual network. Moreover, it identifies the class selected for the network.
The third and fourth octets and the third period (22.214.171.124) represent the other component, which is the host part. It is usually selected for each host. Thanks to the host part, it is possible to recognize a certain individual device in one specific network.
Take note that for each host on your network, that network part of the IPv4 address is going to be the same. But, on the other hand, the host part is going to be different and unique.