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SSL certificates create a secure communication tunnel by encrypting the data sent between a client and server, or between two servers, to prevent cybercriminals from modifying data.
There are three standard types of SSL Certificate issued by Certificate Authorities: DV, OV, and EV. Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates provide the highest assurance that the domain is NOT associated with a bad actor. When users see a green or company-branded address bar next to the URL, they can know that they are on a trusted domain.
The process for a Certificate Authority (CA) to issue an EV SSL certificate is more stringent than with DV or OV certificates. The CA checks that the requesting business is a legal entity, and the validation requires sufficient disclosure of business information to perform this verification. There is an additional human intervention where the entity is contacted via phone to verify its identity. The processing could be several days, depending on the requestor’s availability during the telephone verification phase.
EV Certificate Authentication Process
EV shows users that the website employs best-of-breed security measures to protect transactions and ensure compliance with standards and regulations.
Before issuing an Extended Validation certificate, the Certificate Authority follows a seven-stage process based on guidelines determined by the CA/Browser Forum.
Given the rigor and information disclosure involved, cybercriminals are statistically far more likely to apply for DV or OV certificates than undergo the vetting process to acquire an EV certificate.
While no CA can know the “intent” of an organization seeking an SSL certificate, the process above strives to vet the legitimacy and authenticity of the domain at the time of issuance. EV is one of the best (visible) trust indicators in place today.
For more information about EV SSL certificates, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.