When To Run An SSL Web Proxy Server

In order to understand if your company or business would benefit from using an SSL web proxy server, it is important to know a bit about SSL certificate options, the benefits of SSL as well as the advantages of using a proxy server.

With this information, you will be able to make an informed decision if this additional network component is a requirement. Typically, with large companies with an IT department to manage the internal network and the connection to the open internet using an SSL web proxy server will be a given. For a smaller company, there may be additional options to consider to provide the same types of security and protection without the need for the additional physical server.

The Secure Sockets Layer Basics

People are familiar with Secure Sockets Layer even if they may not be aware of the term used to define it. It is the technology that allows information from a website to be encrypted and sent to a server in a secure form.

This is done through a complicated process that happens virtually instantly. A certificate issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) is placed on the server. The browser or device has the root certificate of that CA in the trusted store. This allows the certificate to be verified as "safe" which then allows the encryption and transmission of data between the browser and the server.

This encryption and decryption is done by a pair of keys, one public and one private. This is based on Public Key Infrastructure, or the cryptographic framework used for secure online exchange of data.

The Proxy Server

The SSL web proxy sits between the device (computer or other internet connected device) and the internet. While it is considered part of the network, it is more like a gatekeeper, working as an intermediary to shield the devices on the network side from direct contact with the IP address of the sender.

In other words, everything that comes from being the SSL web proxy server will look as if it came from the IP address of the server itself. This is actually very important as it limits the ability of a hacker to find out and target specific devices or users on a network.

Keep in mind the use of the SSL certificate performs a security function in that it provides the encryption of the data and the authentication of the website that the user is attempting to connect with or make a request from. However, it doesn't shield the IP address of the requester.

Additionally, the SSL web proxy server can be used to block specific types of requests from inside the network getting to the internet. For example, a company may choose to prevent requests from inside the network to connect to Facebook or other sites that are deemed inappropriate for work.

Cache Pages

Another reason large companies may use an SSL web proxy server is because the proxy can actually cache specific pages. The server then updates those cached pages and allows users to simply access the version on the server rather than making a request to the specific website. This is ideal to help reduce the use of bandwidth and also speed up the processing of requests from inside the network to other sites on the web.

It may seem evident that reviewing internet guidelines for use of the internet and also working training employees about internet safety protocols would accomplish the same ends, but it often doesn't. Using both SSL/TLS products as well as the server provides the most robust security for your network, which is as important to a small business as it is to a large multinational company.

In using the SSL products, the server actually creates an intermediate certificate that again only allows the website receiving the request to see the certificate of the proxy server. While this may seem like redundant security, it does further shield information about inside of the network from being open to potential hackers, adding an additional level of protection.

To learn more about how Comodo SSL/TLS products can be used with your network through a web proxy server, visit us online at https://www.instantssl.com. There are lots of great articles in our resource sections for small and large businesses, and more information is available from our sales team through our Live Chat system. You can also give us a call at +1 888 266 6361; we are happy to answer any questions you may have.

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