Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, is a protocol which is used to communicate across the Internet in a secure fashion.

SSL technology uses public key cryptography to accomplish its tasks. In public key cryptography, each party has two keys, a public key and a private key. Information encrypted with a person’s public key can only be decrypted with the private key and vice versa. Each user publicly tells the world what their public key is but keeps the private key secret.


For example: ABC Inc., needs a secure customer checkout process, so they decide to get an ssl cert for their website.

Firstly: ABC creates a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)from the webserver that their site is hosted on and during this process, a private key is generated.

Secondly: ABC goes to a trusted, third party Certificate Authority, such as COMODO . COMODO takes the certificate signing request and validates ABC in a two step process. COMODO validates that ABC has control of the domain abc.com and that ABC Inc. is an official organization listed in public government records.

Thirdly: When the validation process is complete, COMODO gives ABC a new public key (certificate) encrypted with COMODO’s private key.

Finally: ABC installs the certificate on their webserver(s).


A CSR or Certificate Signing request is a block of encrypted text that is generated on the server that the certificate will be used on. It contains information that will be included in your certificate such as your organization name, common name (domain name), locality, and country. It also contains the public key that will be included in your certificate.

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