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Difference Between EV SSL and Standard SSL Certificates

June 27, 2013 James Labonte

Extended Validation Certificates offer a green address bar that the customers see when they visit the page. In order to acquire the green address bar, a more stringent validation must be performed and satisfactorily passed. While both EV SSL and standard SSL certificates encrypt the information being transferred from the businesses server to the end users browsers, they require completely different levels of authentication. The different levels of authentication that are offered will also result in different impacts upon the customer’s confidence.

Standard SSL Certificates can be issued in minutes, but do not require an actual person to validate many details of the business. Because of this, they are cheaper to obtain. However, there isn’t the information published on the issued certificate that would be on an Extended Validation SSL Certificate. Therefore, if a customer wishes to easily see what Certificate Authority issued the certificate, or where the actual e-commerce business is located, they must perform that research on their own.

SSL Certificates with Extended Validation allow the customer to scroll their mouse over the security status bar and view the information about the company that is running the website. It is information, validation, and visual cues which set the EV SSL Certificates apart from standard SSL certificates. Customers have become familiar with the green address bar on most of their important financial and personal websites. Many banks have extended validation SSL certificates and proudly boast the green address bar. This visual cue can affect customers both consciously and unconsciously. Ultimately, the business will always know the level of security and confidence that they are offering their customers.

EV SSL Certificate Pros:

  • Adherence to strict guidelines propounded by the CA/Browser Forum
  • Confirmation that the party requesting the certificate has been authorized by the entity
  • Verification of official records pertaining to business licensing and incorporation information
  • Confirmation of exclusive rights to use the domain name
  • Confirmation of physical, legal, and operational addresses of the entity


EV SSL Certificate Cons:

  • Higher price, 5-10 days issuance time


 

 

 

 

 

Standard SSL Certificate Cons:

  • Domain-Validated SSL Certificates simply require that the domain belongs to the entity
  • The ease of which these certificates can be granted allow harmful parties to obtain the certificates for themselves
  • There are not the visual cues which provide confidence to the customer that an EV SSL Certificate can provide.


Standard SSL Certificates Pros:

  • Lower price, quicker issuance time


The Impact of These Differences:

The price of EV SSL Certificates is significantly higher than the standard SSL certificates. This is due to the amount of verification and confirmation that occurs, as well as the other advantages that the certificate offers. This day in age, customers demand information and security. Utilizing the green address bar (and the information that is provided in the security bar) can build customer confidence and help encourage conversions for the website.

While the same level of encryption and security can be provided by a business that uses a standard SSL certificate, it is ultimately the customer who is subject to falling into a phishing attack by a party creating a similar looking page or some other malicious activity. A business may be honest and true, but if there isn’t a safeguard in place which helps clearly display a distinct difference between the real and false website, there is an easier chance for a customer to fall prey to foul play.

Extended Validation SSL Certificates may be seen to primarily benefit the customer, but they also consequently benefit the e-commerce business by helping to create a more comfortable customer base while doing the utmost to defend against the customer’s vulnerabilities. This can pay off for businesses that use the best-of-the-best certificates. Different brands can also have an impact due to customer familiarity.

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