There is one topic on the World Wide Web, which will never go out of vogue. Wondering what it is? Website security. There is one specific trend relating to website security that is shaping up to be the most influential of all cybersecurity trends.

Google – the search engine juggernaut is also adding more fuel to the raging website security scene by rolling out some specific updates. These updates, which are expected to become mainstream by July could affect websites that have a weakened security protocol. In other words, those websites which are still running on HTTP protocol without an SSL certificate encryption are going to incur some damage.

So, if you are one such website, your time to ignore SSL certificates is up. 2018 would be marked in history as one year when the whole Internet would take HTTPS migration as a matter of utmost importance.

Here is how not moving to HTTPS could affect your website.

In July 2018, Google would be rolling out a Chrome 68 update which would mark all non-HTTPS websites as “not secure”. Google has confirmed this matter on its own blog dated February 8th, 2018.

HTTPS in 2018

The adoption of HTTPS as the standard protocol is to make the web as secure as it can be for users. Google reports that a considerable amount of developers had already started migrating their websites to HTTPS.

  • At least 68% of Internet traffic from Android and Windows devices are now encrypted
  • 78% of Internet traffic originating from Chrome and Mac Safari is now protected
  • 80% of top 100 websites use HTTPS by default

The new update rollouts would enable users to easily identify whether a website is encrypted or not. The green HTTPS address bar denotes that the website is protected, while the ‘Not Secure’ can be easily identified by any user even without much technical knowledge.

Why the sudden stress on HTTPS?

Google Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers. According to StatCounter GlobalStats, Google Chrome commands a 57.46% market share followed by Safari (14.39%), UC Browser (7.91%), Firefox (5.5%), Opera (3.69%) and Internet Explorer (3.06%).

Chrome is also regarded as one of the most secure Internet browsers that can withstand any kind of botnet attacks, DDoS and malicious link injections. To retain its identity as a secure browser and also to keep users safe from the increasing amount of cybersecurity attacks, Google is in the constant works to update Chrome’s security prowess.

HTTPS proves to be the perfect way to do it since most users would be using websites during the normal course of their Internet usage.

What is HTTPS and how does it work?

HTTPS stands for ‘HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure’. It implies that the website and the information it exchanges is encrypted using an SSL certificate. The encryption works as a filter between the web server and the web browser which prevents any bots from gaining access to the data or the information being leaked in any manner. This makes HTTPS a mandate for online payment transactions and other critical transactions related to personal accounts and membership transactions.

The investment in HTTPS also brings a trove of benefits that are hard to ignore.

  • Higher SEO Ranking

Google’s SEO ranking signals include security as one of the priorities. Websites with SSL security enjoy better SEO ranking since they are more trusted by users and search bots alike.

  • PCI Compliance

For eCommerce businesses and every other business that collects credit card information from its customers, PCI compliance is a must. The Payment Card Industry has its Data Security Standards which lays down certain protocols that these companies must follow in order to ensure security for their customers. SSL certificate and the subsequent HTTPS address browser happens to be one among the requirements of PCI compliance. PCI compliant websites enjoy better customer trust and also are better insulated against cybersecurity attacks.

  • Positive Brand Image

EV SSL certificate (Extended Validation) enables HTTPS in the beginning of website address. The user can see green padlock icon and Company name in browser’s address bar which allows increasing trust in users. The website visitor can click on it and view certificate information including domain name, owner of the website, domain location etc. It acts an assurance that the website is indeed genuine that the user thinks it is. Since EV HTTPS websites are issued only after rigorous background verification of the applicant and after processing a long list of paperwork, it is not possible for anyone else, like a hacker, to post as a genuine user and claim the EV SSL certificate.

  • Reduced Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is a menace that online retailers have to live through. At least 67% of online shopping carts are expected to be abandoned abruptly due to several reasons, security concerns being one among the most prominent reason. Customers do not always feel secure about sharing their credit card information and personal identity details over the Internet to an unknown business. HTTPS can show them that the checkout pages are protected using encryption and hence can be sure to prevent any kind of cybersecurity issues.

The Bottom Line

All search engine results would soon start giving more impetus to websites that are protected using an SSL certificate. Other websites would take a backseat as they are tagged less secure by the browser. Users would also prefer visiting secure websites since their private information would not fall into the hands of hackers.

Above all, HTTPS brings a whole range of benefits that businesses cannot ignore. SEO for instance. Higher SEO ranking can bring large volumes of traffic and leads along with that. HTTPS address bar will also help in reducing cart abandonment which is rampant due to payment security reasons.

Considering all the benefits, this is the right time for your website to set up an SSL certificate.

Author: Kunjal Panchal