In the past few years, both the SSL and TLS protocols have helped maintain the security and encryption of many websites, including e-commerce websites. Both protocols are constantly being updated, indirectly helping to prevent the most sophisticated cyber threats from hackers. TLS is the descendant of SSL and is considered more powerful and effective, and its latest version can enhance privacy and performance.

In general, the SSL and TLS protocols are designed to protect sensitive information used in the transaction process, such as payment processing that requires authentication to prove to users the identity of your server. Especially for e-commerce sites, this is very important because customers need to trust your business while providing their personal information. These agreements also allow you to comply with industry standards in which you may need to maintain a certain level of minimum security. This is particularly required in the event that you acknowledge card payments and need to hold fast to the Payment Card Industry rules. In the following article, we will understand the difference between SSL and TLS.

A brief about SSL

Netscape developed SSL in 1994. It is conceived as a system that can ensure secure communication between client and server systems on the Web. Gradually, the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) picked up the protocol and standardized it as a protocol. The following two versions of SSL resolved the vulnerabilities found in version 1. The current SSL version is SSL 3.0. If we look at the following historical records, we can assume that the IETF is seriously trying to protect online data with the best robust security.

SSL Version Description
SSL 1.0 Because of a safety defect, SSL 1.0 was not released.
SSL 2.0 SSL v2.0 was the first public release of SSL by Netscape. It was delivered in February 1995 however there were configuration defects that constrained Netscape to deliver SSL v.3. Nonetheless, SSL v.2.0 was deplored in 2011.
SSL 3.0 SSL v3 was an updated version of the previous form of SSL v2.0 that proper few security configuration imperfections of SSL v2.0. However, SSL v3.0 was considered unreliable in 2004 because of the POODLE assault.

A brief about TLS

TLS implies Transport Layer Security, which is a cryptographic convention replacement of SSL 3.0, which was delivered in 1999.

TLS Version Description
TLS 1.0 TLS 1.0 is an upgraded version of SSL v.3.0 released in January 1999, but it allows the connection to be downgraded to SSL v.3.0.
TLS 1.1 Later, TLS v1.1 was released in April 2006, which is an update of the TLS 1.0 version. It increases protection against CBC (Cipher Block Chaining) attacks. In March 2020, Google, Apple, Mozilla and Microsoft announced the abandonment of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 versions.
TLS 1.2 TLS v1.2 was released in 2008, allowing the specification of hash and algorithm used by clients and servers. It allows authenticated encryption and adds more support for additional data modes. TLS 1.2 can verify the data length based on the cipher suite.
TLS 1.3 TLS v1.3 was released in August 2018. It has main features different from earlier versions of TLS v1.2, such as removing MD5 and SHA-224 support, requiring digital signatures when using early configurations, and forcing the use of perfect forward secrecy to prevent accidents. A public key-based key exchange, the handshake message will now be encrypted behind the “server Hello”.

Key differences between SSL and TLS

Nonetheless, the differences between SSL and TLS are exceptionally minor. Truth be told, just a specialized individual will actually want to recognize the distinctions. The notable differences include:

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Transport Layer Security (TLS)
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. TLS stands for Transport Layer Security.
Netscape developed the first version of SSL in 1995. The first version of TLS was developed by the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) in 1999.
Three versions of SSL have been released: SSL 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Four versions of TLS have been released: TLS 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3.
SSL is a cryptographic protocol that uses explicit connections to establish secure communication between web server and client. TLS is also a cryptographic protocol that provides secure communication between the web server and the client via implicit connections. It’s the successor of the SSL protocol.
In SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Message Authentication Code protocol is used. In TLS (Transport Layer Security), Hashed Message Authentication Code protocol is used.
SSL message authentication adjoins the key details and application data in an ad-hoc way. TLS version relies on HMAC Hash-based Message Authentication Code.
In SSL, the hash calculation also comprises the master secret and pad. The hashes are calculated over handshake messages.
SSL has the “No certificate” alert message. TLS protocol removes the alert message and replaces it with several other alert messages.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is complex than TLS (Transport Layer Security). TLS (Transport Layer Security) is simple.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is less secured as compared to TLS (Transport Layer Security). TLS (Transport Layer Security) provides high security than SSL.

These are the basic contrasts between an SSL and TLS certificate. Like I referenced previously, it takes a prepared eye to comprehend the distinctions.

At Last, do you need an SSL/TLS certificate?

If you look at SSL and TLS certificates, both perform the same tasks of encrypted data exchange. TLS is an updated and secure version of SSL. Nevertheless, the large number of SSL certificates available on the Internet serves the same purpose as protecting your website. In fact, they both provide the same HTTPS address bar for websites, which has been recognized as a symbol of online security.