Skip to main content

All About Digital Certificates and Secure Web Access


The username and password process is generally as follows: each time a user wishes to access a web service, the user navigates to the site and authenticates themselves with a unique username and password. This data is passed to the server (hopefully in an encrypted form); the application looks up the username and the password (or a representation of the password) to ensure the information matches the user is granted access.

This method has some obvious limitations:

* The username and password are passed over the web (encrypted or unencrypted) with the typical security concerns of interception.
* The systems administrator normally has unrestricted access to all usernames and passwords with associated security and liability concerns for the service provider (especially with confidential data)
* The user needs to remember as many usernames and passwords as are required by their applications, leading to inevitable support issues to recover lost access data.

Digital Certificate Authentication

The typical digital certificate web access process is: The user navigates to the website. Before allowing access it checks the certificate against the access database. The user enters the password locally to confirming their access right to the certificate and is allowed to the website. Benefits of certificates over username and password: * General security is enhanced: the user needs both the certificate itself and the password to the certificate to gain access. * The password is never passed over the web, not even during account set-up. * At no stage do systems administrators have access to user passwords. * The certificate can electronically sign data on the website with the benefit of non-repudiation. * The user uses one digital identity with one password to access a range of applications (reduces passwords to remember).

Implementing Digital Certificates

All major web servers support client authentication via certificates. An SSL certificate on the web server (to support https) enables configuration of client authentication and only requires specification of the access rights for each directory served by the web server.
Amend the web application to support client authentication by certificates. If any code was developed to handle user name and password, then the certificate credentials can be looked up in an access control list in just the same way. 
Client certificates are issued via a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) You can choose implement your own or use the services of a Managed Service Provider such as Diginus Ltd.

Wider Use

Once customers or employees have digital certificates, the same certificates can be used to digitally sign email, PDF and web forms and Microsoft Word documents. With a few small steps a corporate website can be transformed into the centre of a powerful web services infrastructure, with single sign on to multiple web applications, signed email and forms data exchange, all the time knowing exactly who is accessing the resources and data.


Popular posts from this blog

Top 10 [FREE] Writing Courses on Youtube That Are Packed With Massive Value

This is a friendly reminder that the best things in life really are FREE, and that includes full spectrum writing courses on Youtube that teach you just about everything you will need to know about operating as a competent, reliable, and skilled copywriter. Sure, you could pay for courses and there's nothing wrong with that. But why not take advantage of a free opportunity? Here are  Top 20 [FREE] Writing Courses on Youtube That Are Packed With Massive Value. 1. Simple Learning's Copywriting Course In this course, writers will learn how to write write product descriptions, multiply sales, and how to influence your readers. Course contains very little fluff - only the most important principles are shared throughout the video.  2. Simplilearn's Full Course Content Marketing Tutorial For Beginners Every content writer and marketer wants that coveted #1 spot on Google. Heck, most want to get to the front page at the very least. This course is all about ranking high on Google an

Article Submissions - Pointing You in the Right Direction

All of you who have been thinking of publishing articles probably seem to be noticing a lot more ads showing up when you search Google for article submission sites. So what does this all mean for you? Well it leaves you the choice of where you wish to submit your article to. Lately new software is out that can let people get an article directory up and running in just a couple of hours and it seems every little fish wants a piece of the action. So how do you choose the correct article directory for your article submission? Here are a few tips to get you in the right direction: Design - You probably are asking yourself why the design of the article directory has anything to do with how good this directory is for you. Well it is, it shows how serious the owners of the site are taking it - the more professional and maintained it looks the longer the site will be online and the more popularity it will gain. RSS Feeds - Make sure the article directory you are submitting

How To Generate Repeat Sales With Your Self-Published Book

The most valuable thing you can collect if you are selling your book from a website when a visitor comes to your book's sales site is not their money... it's their email address and/or other contact information. If you have no clue how to create a website, do not worry about feeling intimidated. It is actually a lot easier than you think. You can also learn a lot by doing a search for a phrase at like "how to make a website" and "free html tutorial." You will find tons of very good free training that way and can learn how in no time. Anyone can learn the basics of creating a website in just one day. Ok, back to collecting your website visitors contact information. I know, I know you’re probably saying... "I'm an author. I want to write my book, sell my book and become a recognized expert. WHY do I need to get their contact information?" How To Make Money Writing Easy, 350-500 Word Web Articles If You Can Type, You