International Business and Technology Blog

All about that S - for security

Posted by John Worthington on Thu, Nov 16, 2017

I have always loved the letter S: it is the best letter in the alphabet. It is always, all about that "S". In fact, S is such an important letter that we added it to our web browser, so we are HTTPS, to make it safer for you! And everyone in the online community, should be doing the same. The online world and internet of things are fundamentally insecure, with cybercrime rising exponentially and now reckoned to be the second most reported economic crime, costing billions.HTTPS IBT SITE.jpg

Could cybercrime happen to you? Yes. Worried? You should be. If not secured, “when you load a website someone else on the network can look at or modify the site before it gets to you”. And that happens all the time, with most users blissfully unaware. The not-so-elegantly named solution is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), denoted by an S in your web browser. Just glance up now and check it out: does it read HTTP or HTTPS? You will see that IBT Online is HTTPS = secureThis is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Hence the online mantra is HTTPS good, HTTP bad! Add an S and you’re good. An HTTPS website should make you smile as it is has three essential qualities: identity, confidentiality and integrity. So you know where you stand; safe and secure.Https -3.jpg

Let’s get technical for just a moment. Standing between your browser and the website that you are connecting to is a lot (and I mean an awful lot) of untrustworthy data and connections, that can cause real damage. Data is permanently being transferred to you as you upload information, apps and services. We enjoy a growing number of services and functionalities, like push notifications, cool API’s, device orientation, geolocation, buying, selling, payments, music and video streaming, and so it goes on. It all boils down to data streaming between you and a website server. The technical jargon for the protocol describing that process of data transfer, is Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). But that protocol is vulnerable and insecure. By adding the S, you get to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), this is the secure version of HTTP, “it means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping order forms”.

Now how is that security achieved? The answer is through the SSL. SSL protects online communication and transactions using the strongest encryption available. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard and is used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers.

If all of this is too much for you and you would prefer to watch a video on the subject of HTTP and HTTPS, I get it and found this for you:

Alternatively, you could watch Meghan Trainor sing all about her version of what it is all about, “All About That Bass"

Now there are two reasons I am writing this blog for you; one is for you as a user of websites to make you more aware of security. The other is if you have a website, then to encourage you to ensure you are HTTPS certified for your users. Google has a view, of course, and they are encouraging “all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.” To get your attention they have a big stick and a large carrot. The stick is labelling HTTP sites as “not secure”: users will be warned increasingly visibly of the dangers of visiting your website. The carrot, is all about positive Google ranking as HTTPS sites will be better ranked. That alone will be one of the big drivers for HTTPS everywhere on the web world.

From an Online Global perspective, HTTPS is a pre-requisite. If you are out there online and in multiple international markets, communicating in different languages, with various cultures, whether B2B or B2C, there is now a common global language of internet security called HTTPS. For your target audiences, who may not yet know your company and/or your brand, an essential element of building trust and confidence to get that engagement and recognition that you need to generate sales, HTTPS says it all. HTTPS reinforces your brand reputation, namely that you manage data between you and your user confidentially and you value and ensure integrity. The HTTPS protocol has just done some of your +ve branding communications heavy lifting for you. So we strongly recommend HTTPS for your online global websites, and that you know it is “all about that S”.

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Tags: All posts, Website Localization, Digital Compliance