Transitions tele seminars
Image default

What is HTTPS and How Does it Work: The Three Pillars of Website Security Explained

What is HTTPS ?

We all visit websites every day, but do we know how secure they are? There are many tools that help protect websites from malicious attacks, and one of the most important of them is HTTPS. In this blog post, we will explain what HTTPS is and how it works, covering its history, protocols, and security measures. So, get ready to dive deep into the three pillars of website security: encryption, data integrity, and authentication.

The meaning of HTTPS

To put it simply, HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. It’s the secure version of the HTTP protocol used for website communication. HTTPS is essential for businesses and users that exchange sensitive information online, such as credit card details, login credentials, and private messages. An example where you might use HTTPS is online banking. Without HTTPS, these online transactions could be intercepted, modified, or stolen by hackers.

How does a HTTPS work?

The HTTPS protocol is founded on three elements: encryption, data integrity, and authentication. Encryption is the process of encoding data sent between computers so that unauthorized parties cannot understand it. Data integrity is ensuring the receiver receives the exact same data from the sender. Authentication is the process of verifying that both the sender and receiver are legitimate, ensuring that the exchange of information is safe.

The three pillars of a HTTPS

First, encryption secures the communication between servers and clients. When you access a website via HTTPS, your browser begins a “handshake” with the server, exchanging encryption keys. This process creates a secure connection between the two end points, making sure that any data transferred is indecipherable to anyone trying to eavesdrop.

Secondly, data integrity ensures that any data sent is exactly the same information received. This prevents hackers from modifying or corrupting any information that is exchanged. Data integrity is accomplished by adding unique identifiers called “hashes” to each message, making sure that any changes made by a hacker can be identified quickly.

Lastly, authentication confirms that both parties are who they say they are. Authentication is accomplished by using digital security certificates, which serve as identification cards. When your browser connects to a server, the viewed certificate makes sure of the server’s legitimacy and identification. If the certificate is not valid and confirmed, the browser won’t allow the connection.

Why we think you should invest in HTTPS

HTTPS is fundamental for website security, and not only for financial sites. Even simple blogs or forums that don’t exchange sensitive information can benefit from HTTPS, as it protects users’ privacy and personal information. In addition, search engines such as Google favour websites with HTTPS, leading to better search rankings and more traffic for your site.

In brief

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, founded on three pillars of encryption, data integrity, and authentication. Encryption secures communication between servers and clients, data integrity ensures that any data sent is exactly the same information received, and authentication confirms that both parties are who they say they are. Investing in HTTPS is essential for website security, privacy, and search engine optimization.

Most frequently asked questions

Q: Is HTTPS necessary for all websites?
A: HTTPS is crucial for any website that exchanges sensitive information, and it’s also a great choice for websites that want to improve their visitors’ experience.

Q: Will HTTPS affect my website’s loading speed?
A: HTTPS can slightly slow down the loading speed of your website because of the encryption-decryption process, however, the impact is minimal, and the benefits of added security far outweigh this mild latency.

Q: Can someone still intercept my data if I use HTTPS?
A: HTTPS doesn’t make your website untouchable, but it does make it significantly harder for attackers to intercept and interpret your data.