All digital services, including web-sites, really should use encryption, it’s one of the glaring holes of misunderstanding when it comes to marketers controlling budgets; the irony is that the old IT departments that used to manage sites did get it. It’s an obvious miss because it seems, on the face of it, not to have any benefits, however, that’s really not true:
- Increased consumer confidence with the the “little padlock, just like I see on Google“
- Actual improvement in security understood by some folks
- A unique selling point, usually in conjunction with “we value your privacy”
- Harder to crack the site, maybe reducing downtime and saving your online reputation
Any site that is gathering consumer information really needs to consider going “secure” or using “SSL” as it’s known in the industry. SSL is the encryption system that’s used to secure digital transmissions betweens browsers and servers. It’s used to secure connections for sensitive activities such as data acquisition, email, transactional work and gathering personal data. Google offers SSL connections for most of its major online services and gives users the option of making SSL connections the default choice for Gmail.
Google have plans to move from strong (1024-bit) to super strong (2048-bit) by the end of this year and this makes it harder for attackers to use existing methods to crack into the systems. Most e-Commerce platforms use SSL to secure connections, specifically around financial data such as credit cards and we’d expect them to be moving up to a more secure security layer.
Where does that leave conventional, data acquisition sites? Most should be actively considering the move and in most cases it costs just a few hundred pounds to purchase the certificate and, if the digital framework supports it, not long to implement. B2B sites have less of a need, in the short-term, but as the technology is well understood it would be advisable for all new builds and migrations to use at least some form of SSL.