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What is OCSP

 
 

Web traffic encryption procedure allows to increase the security of user data. However, encryption itself is meaningless, unless additional measures are implemented, among which you can check the status of the SSL certificate. The certificate must not be revoked or expired, if another - it will not be trusted. How customer can be sure certificate is trusted? Answer is to ask the supplier about it, which stores all the information associated with the issued certificate.

Using OCSP (Online Certificate Status Protocol), browsers can verify the validity of the SSL certificate. This is realized using OCSP Stapling technology (OCSP stapling). In this case, the web server downloads a copy of the authentication center response, which is then sent directly to the browser.

The OCSP Stapling method helps you quickly and securely check the validity of an SSL certificate. The varification sequence of the validation using OCSP Stapling technology consists of the following steps: 

Step 1. The web server hosting the SSL-protected website sends the request to the certifying center. In response from the CA, the status of the certificate comes along with a signed timestamp (timestamp). Signing a tag allows you to ensure that it will not be changed in any way by the web server.

Step 2. The visitor's browser connects to the server. At this point, the server binds the timestamp received from the CA to the SSL certificate.

Step 3. The browser checks the timestamp. It is signed by the certificate supplier, which means that it can be trusted.

Step 4. If the SSL certificate is trusted, then the browser will open the page. Otherwise, the user will receive an error message.

This approach allows you to remove the load from the certification centers and transfer it to web hosting. As a result, SSL connections are installed faster, which helps protect confidential information from users from getting into the hands of intruders.

OCSP Stapling achieves several goals:

  • Guarantees the security and confidentiality of user data ;
  • Users are more likely to download protected content, because browsers do not need to make multiple requests ;
  • The bandwidth on the client side is preserved, which is an advantage for mobile users ;
  • Increased confidence and customer satisfaction by increasing the speed of delivery of protected content ;
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