Transport Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), both frequently referred to as “SSL”, are cryptographic protocols that provide communications security over a computer network. Several versions of the protocols find widespread use in applications such as web browsing, email, instant messaging, and voice-over-IP (VoIP). Major websites use TLS to secure all communications between their servers and web browsers. QuikSite uses SSL to improve security for customer websites.
The Transport Layer Security protocol aims primarily to provide privacy and data integrity between two communicating computer applications. When secured by TLS, connections between a client (e.g., a web browser) and a server (e.g., yourdomain.com) have one or more of the following properties:
The connection is private (or secure) because symmetric cryptography is used to encrypt the data transmitted. The keys for this symmetric encryption are generated uniquely for each connection and are based on a shared secret negotiated at the start of the session. The server and client negotiate the details of which encryption algorithm and cryptographic keys to use before the first byte of data is transmitted. The negotiation of a shared secret is both secure (the negotiated secret is unavailable to eavesdroppers and cannot be obtained, even by an attacker who places themselves in the middle of the connection) and reliable (no attacker can modify the communications during the negotiation without being detected).
The identity of the communicating parties can be authenticated using public-key cryptography. This authentication can be made optional, but is generally required for at least one of the parties (typically the server).
The connection ensures integrity because each message transmitted includes a message integrity check using a message authentication code to prevent undetected loss or alteration of the data during transmission.
QuikSite handles the installation of SSL certificates at the server so that the websites hosted on the QuikSite server utilize the SSL / TLS encryption when a page is called for using https.