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Blog Post Jun 28, 2024

What it takes to be a reputable Certificate Authority

Certificate Authorities (CAs) are vital for digital security, providing SSL/TLS certificates that authenticate and secure online communications. They ensure data integrity and privacy, protecting against security threats. A reputable CA adheres to industry standards, undergoes rigorous audits, and complies with CA/Browser Forum regulations. Businesses must choose CAs based on reputation, validation levels, domain flexibility, lifecycle management, and customer support. Sectigo, a leading CA, offers robust security solutions and exceptional customer service, making it a top choice for securing websites, networks, and applications.

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Certificate authorities play a critical role in digital security, yet many people are unaware of their influence in day-to-day browsing. These organizations provide digital signatures and certificates that secure online communications, promoting integrity and trust on a broad scale.

The influence and benefits of Certificate Authorities (CAs) are so extensive that business leaders should become familiar with them and understand the systems and vendors their organizations use. This means learning how CAs function and recognizing what, exactly, goes into selecting the best CA and the best digital certificates.

The role of Certificate Authorities

CAs issue SSL/TLS certificates that authenticate the identity of websites, networks, humans, and machines, enabling encrypted connections and ensuring data integrity and privacy. Without CAs, the internet would be susceptible to a myriad of security threats, from data breaches to man-in-the-middle attacks.

Beyond the technical infrastructure, a reputable CA must adhere to stringent industry standards and undergo rigorous audits. As cyberattacks increase and certificate validities shorten, the need for robust defenses becomes essential, making the selection of the right CA crucial to your operations.

CA/Browser Forum maintains trust

The CA/Browser Forum is an industry consortium of CAs, web browsers, and other stakeholders. It exists to enhance online security by establishing standards for the issuance and management of digital certificates. These standards ensure the authenticity and integrity of certificates, which are essential for secure web communications and transactions.

By promoting consistent practices across CAs and browsers and addressing emerging security threats, the forum helps maintain trust in online services, benefiting both businesses and consumers. Major browsers like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox rely on these standards to determine which CAs to trust, ensuring a secure and reliable digital ecosystem for businesses and consumers alike. Its collaborative efforts create a more secure and reliable digital ecosystem.

Choosing a Certificate Authority

As cyberattacks increase, selecting the right CA becomes crucial for your organizations. A reliable CA will follow CA/Browser Forum regulations such as the Baseline Requirements, conduct annual WebTrust audits and publish the results, and follow specific rules determined by the major root store programs. The CA must validate all certificate information, maintain strong cryptographic standards, and provide comprehensive physical and cyber security measures.

Given the irreplicable role CAs play in maintaining internet security and boosting user trust, they must be selected with great care. Examine your options closely, keeping the following important factors in mind:

  • Reputation: Choose a CA with a strong reputation among a diverse range of customers, from small businesses to major corporations.
  • Validation levels: The ideal CA should offer a range of validation levels, including DV, OV, and EV certificates.
  • Domain flexibility: Look for the ability to secure multiple domains or subdomains through wildcard or multi-domain certificates.
  • Lifecycle management: Ensure the CA provides solutions for certificate lifecycle management, especially with the upcoming shift to 90-day SSL certificates.
  • Customer support: Opt for a CA known for excellent customer support, offering guidance during the validation process and prompt, helpful responses to any

Choose trust

Gaining and maintaining status as a reputable Certificate Authority is no small feat. It requires a commitment to stringent standards, and a reputable CA must proactively combat security threats through continuous monitoring and collaboration with industry stakeholders.

If you need a robust and proven Certificate Authority to secure your website and networks, and authenticate your users, devices and applications, Sectigo is an excellent choice. As one of the world’s largest commercial CAs, and the most innovative provider of certificate lifecycle management (CLM), Sectigo offers a wide variety of solutions to fit your needs, all backed by comprehensive customer support.

Want to learn more? Get in touch to book a demo of Sectigo Certificate Manager!

Related posts:

What is a Private CA? How to manage internal certificates

Certificate Authorities: What They Are & Why They’re Important

Enterprise Use Cases for a Private Certificate Authority