The use of the Internet has increased significantly. It has helped businesses reach out readily to their audience. Most companies request the personal information of website visitors. It is usually login information and, in some cases, their personal or financial information too. The lure of customer information has made hackers targeting businesses more than before.
Studies show that there is a cyberattack every 39 seconds. A data breach can lead to severe financial strain through government penalties and lawsuits. Therefore, businesses need to ensure proper safeguards are in place to thwart a cyberattack. For industry stalwarts, it is necessary to install the right kind of SSL Certificate. This ensures encryption of in-transit communication between the web browser and the client-server. SSL certs come in various kinds and at different validation levels. One type of certificate is a multi-domain SSL certificate.
Decoding a Multi-Domain SSL Certificate
Several companies have several websites with different subdomains. It becomes cumbersome for web admins to manage various SSL certificates. It is where the multi-domain SSL certificate can help. They are also known as SAN SSL certificates and can secure several domains and subdomains. The data that is exchanged is kept secure through encryption of the communication that takes place.
It uses the same level of encryption that is used by the other certificates. The difference is in the extension of the SAN that specifies the additional domains. The certificate can store several domains and varies across the different Certificate Authorities (CAs). It is supported by most browsers and can be available for all validation levels.
Understanding the workings of a Multi-domain SSL Certificate
The multi-domain SSL certificate helps to secure several FQDNs (fully qualified domain names). You must keep in mind that the name listed on the CSR (certificate signing request) cannot be changed, but you can add or make changes to the SANs.
For example, if you wish to create several for your business, like example1.com, blogexample2.com, example3.org, example4.net, etc. Then, you can secure all these sites by mentioning them as SANs on the same certificate.
Properties of a Multi-Domain SSL Certificate
It is known that they can support multiple domains and subdomains. These 2048-bit certificates authenticate the organisation details. Most of the certificates also provide anti-malware support and a phishing alert service.
Most of the CAs provide unlimited server licensing along with an SSL configuration checker. A Trust Seal is another unique feature that comes with this certificate. As we all know, certificates are compatible with most browsers. Some of the portals also allow web admins to use a portal to manage their certificates.
The difference with a Wildcard SSL certificate
|Multi Domain SSL certificate||Wildcard SSL certificate|
|Number of protected domains and subdomains||Can secure multiple domains along with several sub-domains||Can secure the primary domain along with several subdomains at the first level.|
|Validation options||Businesses can choose from these options:Domain ValidationOrganisation ValidationExtended Validation||Only the Domain Validation and Organisation Validation options are available.|
|Limitations, if any||The number of domains to be covered is limited by the issuing CA||The sub-domains can be added or removed at any time.|
Key considerations before buying one
1. The reputation of the CA
Before buying the certificate, it is essential to consider the reputation of the CA. Always do some research to come across the market share of the CA. It will be a critical factor to decide the product that will be suitable for your business.
2. The warranty amount
The warranty provided by the CAs can vary widely. It would be best if you also kept in mind that the amount varies for the level of validation too. The warranty provided by the CA is a safeguard in case any mishap happens. It also provides a sense of credibility about the CA to the client.
3. The validation level
When you must secure multiple domains, it is also essential that you ascertain the threat levels. In addition, it will help you to finalize the validation level of the certificate that you will need. Always keep in mind that the price will vary according to the validation level too.
4. The price
When you are selecting the vendor, you can also check the price for each. While you have to check the validation level required, the price varies across CAs too. The validation period selected can also lead to a subtle change in the price levels.
5. Additional features
The features provided by the different CAs may vary. Some of the certificates can come with the Trust Seal. It is helpful as it can give trust signs to the website visitor. The Trust Seal can help e-commerce sites.
Examples of Multi-Domain SSL Certificate
We will now look into the examples of cheap multi-domain SSL certs.
|Comodo UCC / SAN / Multi-Domain SSL||Comodo PositiveSSL Multi-Domain Wildcard||Comodo EV Multi Domain SSL|
|Domains Secured||Secure up to 250 domains, sub-domains & SAN with a single SSL||Secure multiple domains along with unlimited subdomains.||Up to 100 multiple domains with a single SSL.|
|(Price includes 4 domains. You need to pay extra for additional domain licenses.)||(Price includes 2 domains. You need to pay extra for additional domain licenses.)||(Price includes 3 domains. You need to pay extra for additional domain licenses.)|
|Server Licenses||Multiple||Unlimited Server Licensing at Free of Cost||Unlimited Server Licensing at Free of Cost|
|Validation Type||Domain Validation Only||Domain Validation Only||Extended Validation|
|Issuance Time||15 minutes or less||15 minutes or less||5-15 Business Days|
|Algorithm||SHA-2 Enabled||SHA-2 Enabled||SHA-2 Enabled|
|SSL Encryption||up to 256-bit||up to 256-bit||up to 256-bit|
|Includes Trust Seal||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Client OS compatibility||99%||99%||99%|
|Mobile & smartphone support||99%||99%||99%|
|Warranty||$10,000 USD||$10,000||$1,750,000 relying party warranty|
|Refund Policy||30 Day Full Refund||30 Day Full Refund||30 Day Full Refund|
|SSL Re-issuance||Unlimited free reissues for certificate lifetime||Unlimited free reissues for certificate lifetime||Unlimited free reissues for certificate lifetime|
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We see a severe increase in the number of data breaches. Businesses must secure the customer data residing on their systems. Diversified industries must consolidate the security apparatus by using a Multi-Domain SSL certificate. It will help to protect their digital assets together, and the risk of renewal misses reduces manifold.