What is Secure Sockets Layer?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security protocol developed by Netscape in order to establish a secure web communication. It protects the sensitive data against fraudulent activities. SSL uses a cryptography algorithm that comprises public and private keys to perform data protection. This data protection protocol is quite similar to Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. Today, most of the web browser supports SSL, and a host of e-commerce websites implement it to safeguard confidential user data. The URLs of the websites that acquire SSL certificate starts with https.

SSL handles sever plus client authentication and encrypts the information in order to establish a secure connection over the World Wide Web.

But there must be world’s strongest code behind this juggernaut security. There are asymmetric and symmetric keys that work together that creates an SSL encrypted connection. It involves two types of encryption-

Asymmetric encryption – In asymmetric encryption, different keys are used for both encryption and decryption. The decryption keys are the private keys and are hence kept serious. The decryption is so private that only the concerned receiver can decode it. The typical asymmetric keys are of 1024 or 2048 bits. Keys with higher bit than 2048 bit are infrequent.

Symmetric encryption – In symmetric encryption, a single key is used for both the encryption and decryption. These key sizes are of 128 or 256 bits. The concept behind this is that larger the key, harder it is to crack them. But on seeing the SSL key no one can predict the size of the key.

As the asymmetric keys are of more bit when compared to symmetric keys, therefore they are more tough to crack. The computational complexity increases with the asymmetric keys.

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