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What is Certification Authority? Learn Its Function & Types

Last updated: Aug 25, 2023

What is Certification Authority?

Certification authority is an organization or company that is a trusted party and guarantor of the security of a website or application.

Typically, certification authorities have the right to issue digital certificates that contain data files for security guarantees.

Basically, maintaining site security is crucial and very necessary.

Apart from that, having such an authority can increase the credibility of your website.

The Importance of Certification Authority

Certification Authority

Certification authorities are something that can help reduce the potential for cyber crime to occur.

At present, cyber crime is very common. Certain activities, such as visiting websites that are not valid or that resemble the original website, even though they are the guise of fraudsters, can be considered cyber crime.

Apart from that, there are several cases in which ready-to-download applications are inserted with malware, which can damage the computer.

The data on the computer has the potential to be damaged so that it cannot be used anymore.

This is where the important role of the certification as a guarantor of the security of a site on the internet comes in.

With the certificate, we can find out the credentials of a site. So, now users do not need to feel anxious when visiting the site.

Functions & Benefits of Certification Authority

The functions and advantages of the certification are as follows:

1. Issuing Certificates for Website Security

The first function of this authority is to create a digital certificate to show the authenticity of a site's identity.

After the certificate is issued, things such as privacy, easy access, data protection, and information accuracy are guaranteed by the authority.

2. Monitoring the Validity of the Certificate

The type of certificate you get will be in the form of a digital certification that has a validity period that varies according to its type.

For example, the type of SSL certificate for websites is only valid for one year, and the type of certificate for code signing for applications is valid for three years.

However, there are several reasons that allow such a certificate to be revoked before its expiration date.

Some examples of reasons are termination of operations, lost private keys, and customer documents proven to contain wrong data.

3. Site Owner Identity Verification

The identity of the site owner that has been verified can minimize user worries because security is guaranteed by the existence of the issued certificate.

Typically, this identity check varies according to the certificate the subscriber requested.

Types of Certification Authority

After knowing the meaning and function of such a certifcate, now is the time for you to know what the types are.

Check out the following points:

1. Code Signing

Basically, the certificate you get is a digital certificate that functions to ensure the authenticity of files or software that users will download.

In this case, a code-signing certificate is usually used to ensure that the application file is not inserted by a virus that has the potential to damage data or the computer system.

2. SSL

Secure Sockets Layer, or what is also known as SSL, is known as a digital certificate that is useful for verifying the identity of website owners as well as making the process of transferring data sent to the server secure.

As for Transport Layer Security, or TLS, which is a new version of SSL certificates, This type of digital certificate serves to secure data privacy.

3. Client Signing

This type of certificate is typically used for digital identification platforms for the purpose of identifying other users.

For example, if someone sends a digital signature, the system will verify the signature using the digital certificate.

Advantages of Using Certification Authority

Certification Authority - Security

When using Certification Authority, we can prove that a website is really owned by a legitimate and genuine organization or individual. Thus, it helps build trust with customers when they access the website.

In addition, a digital certificate issued by a Certification Authority can also help protect websites from man-in-the-middle attacks and irresponsible actions. Therefore, using a Certification Authority can provide many advantages for the security and reputation of a website.

Trusted Certificate Authority Criteria

A trusted Certification Authority is an institution that issues certificates for an organization. This trust is based on the independence or lack of influence of the organization requesting the certificate.

A trusted Certificate Authority will issue a digital certificate that meets regulatory standards in the CA/Browser forum. This forum states that users who go through a trusted Certificate Authority will be guaranteed security when accessing a website.

Some of the most trusted and largest Certification Authorities include DigiCert, Entrust Datacard, GeoTrust, RapidSSL, Globalsign, GoDaddy, Let's Encrypt, and Sectigo. Therefore, it is important to choose a trusted Certificate Authority in order to ensure security and trust when accessing a website.

Conclusion

By using CA, we can prove that the website is owned by a legitimate organization or individual. However, to ensure trust and security, we must choose a trusted CA.

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