What is the risk of visiting websites without a Digital Certificate (HTTPS)? - Tecbound Technology

What is the risk of visiting websites without a Digital Certificate (HTTPS)?

Do you use a digital certificate for your website?
Well, you should because it is one of the most fundamental security measures for the security of any website.

What is a Digital Certificate?

A digital certificate is used for authentication for the credentials of a website that belongs to the sender. It allows the recipient of the message to verify the authenticity of the source. A certification authority (CA) issues a digital certificate. The terms “identity certificates” and “public key certificates” are also used interchangeably with digital certificates.

While digital certificates ensure that the data goes to the correct receiver, we also have HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure). Such protocol ensures that the data is encrypted as it either passes through a secure socket layer or the transport layer security.

Risks of not Using a Digital Certificate

Digital certificates are extremely important because without them a multitude of problems may arise.

Network

Without HTTPS, whenever you log in to any service or application which is connected to the internet, your password can be easily “discovered” on the internet because it is plain-text. A cybercriminal just needs to find the vulnerability in an end-point and voila! they can get access to the most sensitive portions of your data. On the other hand, the encryption provided by HTTPS protocol ensures that your data are a piece of the puzzle that can only be unlocked by the actual recipient of the message.

To understand how encryption works, let’s take an example of a sample administrator password “adminabc”(which BTW is a weak password). Now if we apply encryption on it by using Caeser cipher with a shift of “6”, then it is converted into “gtsotghi”. Now this word would be transmitted on the internet instead of your actual password. In case a cybercriminal comes across it, they would be unable to login to your network. Bear in mind that the modern cryptographic algorithms used today are much advanced and breaking them would require hundreds of years.

Threat to Other Channels

If even a single one of your passwords gets intercepted, then your other accounts may also be in jeopardy. Often, people use identical passwords to avoid the complexity of remembering different passwords again and again. While it is obviously an irresponsible security measure, it can get cyberattackers to perform damage. They can use the information for darknet sale or may even go on to contact your competitors for a business transaction.

Spear Phishing

You may think that information like the emails or phone numbers of your employees may not be too sensitive. However, cybercriminals often attack others using spear phishing. Spear phishing is a technique in which hackers disguise themselves as a trusted and popular authority.

For example, FedEx’s name has been used in cyberattacks to send malicious emails. These emails have attachments like Excel files with enabled macros which may run harmful scripts after they are opened. Now if others are hacked because of your credentials then it can entangle your organization in a legal mess. Likewise, your existing and potential clients both view you negatively because of your tarnished brand image.

To get a more detailed insight for a Digital Certificate if you are either interested in using it as a business owner or want to know their implications as an end-user, contact us

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