Google to penalise all unencrypted websites from 2017: How we’ll secure your business with SSL

18 Nov 2016

At Cyber Maryland 2016, we built on our vast knowledge about cyber security and linked up with industry experts in order to get ahead of the curve and gain a greater understanding into the latest updates. We learnt about the mentality of cyber hackers and how we could use this to prevent data breaches and keep our clients’ data as secure as possible.

With security as Google’s top priority, from 2017 the search engine will be penalising websites that are unencrypted by displaying a red ‘x’ over a padlock in the URL bar, letting all users know that their data is vulnerable to an attacker. It has been reported that many businesses don’t take the risks of cyber security seriously or don’t believe they will become a victim to a cyber-attack.

Our forward thinking team of experts at IceBlue can take this problem out of your hands by purchasing and installing SSL certificates for you in line with industry best practice. This will give your website the highest levels of security, allowing all sensitive information to travel over a secure, encrypted channel. We are partners with Google and have direct links with the team, giving us regular communications about the latest updates.

SSL in a nutshell

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology that allows sensitive information such as passwords, credit cards, login credentials and private messages to be transmitted over a secure channel.

Normally, data is sent between browsers and web servers in plain text. This leaves website vulnerable to an attacker intercepting, using and manipulating that information. SSL initiates a secure session by establishing an encrypted link between a server and a client, such as a web server and a browser, and a mail server and a mail client (e.g. Outlook).

When a certificate is successfully installed on your server, the application protocol (also known as HTTP) will change to HTTPS, where the ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’. As well as protecting user data, HTTPS ensures that the user is connecting to the right site and not an imposter one. It also prevents any malicious third parties from hijacking the connection and inserting malware or censoring information.

Google’s SSL changes for 2017

Google is keen to make the Internet an overall safer place and part of this is to ensure that websites accessed from its search engine are secure. In 2014, it was announced that Google were planning to start penalising websites that are unencrypted in 2017 by flagging them as insecure by displaying a red ‘x’ over a padlock in the URL bar. This would be on display to all users browsing unencrypted websites, drawing attention to the fact that they are using an unsecure connection.

Going HTTPS and adding SSL certificate to your website could also benefit your search engine ranking. Google has announced that this will give websites a small ranking boost. However, there is scope for this signal to increase over time as Google are keen to “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”

With this change to be implemented from January 2017 onwards, many companies are ensuring their SSL is in place now so that their websites are not affected.

IceBlue’s solution

In line with industry best practice, at IceBlue we take the pressure of these changes out of your hands and will purchase and install SSL certificates for you. We’ll ensure your website has the highest overall grade for SSL and that you meet the top-level requirements for the certificate, protocol support, key exchange and cipher strength.

Within this service, we also include a dedicated IP address for your website. As technology continues to move forward at such a rapid pace, many websites are live on a shared IP address which older browsers are supporting less, so a dedicated IP address will be highly beneficial for your business.

Whether you’re looking to secure your website with an SSL certificate or are keen to see how you can improve your current SSL rankings, get in touch and we will provide a solution for your business.

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