The rise of digitalization and the rise in the count of hackers are directly proportionate to each other. The more digitalization, the more hackers try to penetrate networks to steal and misuse data. Cryptographers and computer scientists brought encryption technology that uses cryptographic algorithms to defeat these intruders from penetrating networks. It is this encryption technology that is found in SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layers/Transport Layer Security) certificates.
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About SSL Certificates
SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layers/Transport Layer Security certificates use encryption techniques to secure all the data exchanges done between the client (browser) and the website (server). They create an encrypted tunnel so that all the communications are carried out in cipher text till they reach the other end.
Plain Text – Wildcard SSL
Cipher Text – 3jksi*sdh
Such is the power of encryption. Even if a hacker is successful in penetrating networks, they will not be able to misuse the data without the proper decryption key.
Types of SSL Certificates
These digital securities come in multiple types and web owners have a choice to choose the ideal one for their business.
If you are a proprietor having a small business, then a Single-Domain SSL certificate will be ideal, but if you have a large business, and your site has multiple sub-domains, a Wildcard SSL certificate will be the best option.
In the case of multiple businesses and multiple websites, you are bound to have multiple domains and sub-domains of varied levels. Go for a Multi-Domain SSL certificate to secure your whole web with a single certificate.
In a nutshell, depending on your business, select your ideal SSL certificate and encrypt your digital empire.
In this blog, we will discuss Wildcard SSL certificates and their verification procedures.
About Wildcard SSL Certificates:
The simplest definition of a Wildcard SSL certificate is that it secures the root (main) domain and multiple sub-domains of the 1st level. In short, a single certificate secures all your sub-domains and you needn’t buy different certificates for them.
The process is simple. A wildcard character (*) is placed in front of the domain name. This helps in adding multiple sub-domains to the main domain and securing them under a single certificate.
The above image will help you understand the functioning of this certificate.
Example: The main domain name as shown in the image is www.example.com, whereas the sub-domains www.blog.example.com, www.shop.example.com, www.mail.example.com, and www.any.example.com can all be secured under the main domain with a single Wildcard SSL certificate.
The best benefit of using a Wildcard SSL certificate is the cost factor. Apart from being cost-friendly, its other benefits include:
- Hassle-free Management
- Unlimited Sub-domain Security
- Browser-Server Compatibility
- Easy Implementation
- Quick Issuance
Now that you have a fair idea about Wildcard SSL certificates, let me brief you about the validations available for the same.
Validations of SSL Certificate:
SSL certificates carries three validations, i.e., Domain Validation (DV) SSL, Organization Validation (OV) SSL, and Extended Validation (EV) SSL.
But Wildcard SSL certificates come in DV SSL and OV SSL validation only, i.e., they are not available in EV SSL.
About Wildcard DV SSL Certificates:
A Wildcard DV SSL certificate is issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) after a simple verification of the domain ownership of the individual/company.
A simple DV SSL certificate can secure the root domain or a single sub-domain only. The rest of the sub-domains are unsecured and thus vulnerable to cyber threats and intruder attacks. The case differs when a DV Wildcard SSL certificate , is used, which secures the root domain and all sub-domains lying under the main domain.
How to Check if the Certificate is a Wildcard SSL or Not?
It is simple. We have taken Mozilla Firefox here.
- Click the padlock in the URL bar, and later click “Connection Secure”.
- Go to “More Information” > Click “View Certificate”
If the “Common Name” field starts with the Wildcard character, i.e., “*” followed by the URL then, it’s a Wildcard SSL certificate which is securing the site.
That’s it. Let’s find out the verification process carried out by the CA for issuing these SSL certificates.
How to Verify Wildcard DV SSL Certificates?
The verification process is the same for a regular DV SSL certificate and a Wildcard SSL certificate. Only the security they offer differs.
The best benefit of a Wildcard DV SSL is its quick issuance. The issuance of a OV Wildcard SSL certificate takes a couple of days due to the in-depth verification of the organization carried out by the CA, whereas the DV SSL certificate is verified and issued within a few minutes.
Only the domain name needs to be verified, i.e., the CA checks that the domain ownership lies with the owner of the firm and issues the certificate.
Ways to Verify the Wildcard SSL Certificate for Single Domain Before Issuance:
- Email Verification:
This is the simplest and easiest way to verify the domain ownership. The CA will check the WHOIS record to ensure that the site owner requesting the SSL certificate owns the domain name that is stated in the certificate. The CA will later send an email to the registered email address for confirmation.
The site owner needs to positively respond to the email for successful verification.
- File-Based Authentication:
In case the email ID is not registered in WHOIS, then file-based authentication is carried out by the CA. The CA will send a .txt file to the domain owner. They need to upload the same in the root directory for verification purposes. Once the CA has positively verified it, they will issue the SSL certificate.
- CNAME-Based Authentication:
This is the last way to complete the domain verification process of your Wildcard SSL certificate. In CNAME-based authentication, the CA will send two unique hashes, one using the MD5 algorithm and one using SHA-1.
The site owner must enter these hashes in their CNAME DNS Record as stated below.
|“<MD5 hash>.yourdomain.com CNAME <SHA-1 hash>.sectigo.com.”
Once this process is over, the CA verifies the same and later issues the SSL certificate after successful verification.
There are many Cheap Single Domain Wildcard SSL Certificate Providers available in the market.
Sectigo DV Wildcard SSL certificates, Sectigo Essential SSL Wildcard certificates, RapidSSL Wildcard DV certificates, etc. are all popular names that can secure your digital empire. So, go ahead and grab one from Wildcardsslcertificate.com for cost-friendly rates and excellent services and secure your digital web.