Why EV SSL Means a Safer Web

The Extended Validation SSL Certificate "raises the address bar" on security


Since we are in the business of selling SSL, of course we would prefer you buy the higher end products, and we think EV in turn does work to convert customers to buy more from you. However, there is a danger in reducing EV's green bar functionality to a gimmick. The fact is that it represents a much more stringent effort to verify the legitimacy of the site and the business or organization that owns it, to prevent online fraud. Therefore, EV is not just a way for you to stand out and sell more; rather, in identifying yourself as a safe place for people to transmit information online, we move further toward EV being the established standard, so that Internet users never have to put their information into an online system that has not been completely validated. Indeed, the Web is headed quickly in this direction. An analysis of the most recent Alexa-Netcraft Index shows that "EV SSL adoption continues to grow at an astounding rate. Year over year growth of installed EV SSL certificates is up by 52.25 percent from January 2011" (Market Watch, January 2012).

The Web achieves its security standardization via accepted guidelines among the major technology companies. An industry-wide board made up of representatives from these companies, known as the CA/Browser Forum or CA/B Forum for short, determines EV SSL guidelines. CA stands for certification authority; examples include Symantec, GeoTrust, and Thawte. These are the organizations that perform the verifications. The browser companies are involved in the forum because that's how the SSL is actually recognized and presented to end-users; browsers can draw attention to SSL certificates with more extensive verification procedures to improve Internet security. The green bar will not appear unless the SSL applicant meets the guidelines described by this organization. Here is its membership: http://www.cabforum.org/forum.html. Here is how it summarily describes EV: http://cabforum.org/certificates.html; a full description of EV procedures and parameters can be found under the Document link at the top of that site.