Nikola Dimitrijevic

Digital certificates: when and where to use them

May 26, 2017 by

Digital certificates are form of electronic authorizations used to verify the identities of persons, companies, computers, and other network entities.

Self-signed certificate

For those who are opt for some self-signed certificate, they must be aware that such a certificate can be used only for encryption, it will not provide any proof-of-identity for the server. As such, they are not recommended, especially when granting users permission to use an application via internet connection.

CA-signed certificate

SSL certificates are supplied by trusted third-party Certification Authorities (CAs). Depending on Certification Authorities, a certificate could be issued after just verifying the domain name, whereas some other authorities require to verify the business existence, who owns a domain name, and finally applicant credibility to apply for the certificate, thus ensuring a higher standard of authentication.

All web browsers come with a list of all well-known Certification Authorities. Along with the company and server name, a CA-signed certificate includes a server public key, used by the web browser to encrypt data sent to the server. A private key is also present on the server and the server uses that key to decrypt the data encrypted by the public key. A private key must be safekeeping on the server to prevent unauthorized access.

Additional information on public key cryptography can be found in the Public-key cryptography article.

More information about CA-signet certificates and how to obtain those can be found directly on some Certification Authorities web sites such as:

Nikola Dimitrijevic

About Nikola Dimitrijevic

Nikola is computer freak since 1981 and an SQL enthusiast with intention to became a freak. Specialized in SQL Server auditing, compliance and performance monitoring. Military aviation devotee and hard core scale aircraft modeler. Extreme sports fan; parachutist and bungee jump instructor. Once serious, now just a free time photographer View all posts by Nikola Dimitrijevic