Global SSL Market Share and the Top 3 Certificate Authorities

Global SSL Market Share and the Top 3 Certificate Authorities 1

The different SSL certificate brands and their global market share

There are many SSL certificate brands on the market and all of them play an equally important role of protecting website users. SSL certificate encrypts the data communication between an Internet browser and a server, which ensures the safety of users when they submit private and confidential data to the server. The encryption protects the data and only the intended recipient is able to decrypt it to obtain the original data. Any attempts to hijack the data in transfer will be useless because the hijacker will not be able to decrypt it to obtain the original data submitted by the user. For more info about what is an SSL certificate and how it works, read more about it here!

As mentioned above, there are many SSL certificate brands on the market, and the 3 of the most famous SSL certificate brands are DigiCert, Sectigo and GlobalSign. As of the time of writing, their respective market share is shown below:

DigiCert – 19.7%

Sectigo – 16.9%

GlobalSign – 2.8%

Source: https://w3techs.com/technologies/history_overview/ssl_certificate

Combined together, these three brands of SSL certificate account for nearly 40% of the SSL market share of the world. It is an amazing achievement, whereby these certificate authorities (CAs) work collectively to make the Internet browsing experience much safer for all Internet users out there! The brands are the CAs and they play an extremely important and critical role in this Internet era, where more devices are connected than ever and safety has become highly significant to communicate data between the devices.

 

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What is a Certificate Authority (CA)?

A certificate authority is a trusted third-party company or organisation which provides verification service to validate websites or entities (email addresses, companies, or individual persons). It is also commonly known as a certification authority, which authenticates that a certain website or entity is indeed who they claim to be. The aim of doing so is to make the Internet more secured, in order to protect both organisations and users alike.

Without the existence of CAs, you will definitely be unable to shop online, make payments online, perform banking online or do any forms of transactions online. The Internet would be insecure, and you will be reluctant to simply submit your confidential data online. However, with CAs and SSL certificates in the picture, then the situation will be a whole lot different! How so? Let’s use a simple example to give you an idea of why the existence of CAs are important!

Let’s say you are visiting your bank’s website, Citibank. If you are aware, the Internet is a dangerous place and things are not always as they seem. There is always the possibility of someone imitating Citibank’s website. Anyone can create a website that looks just like Citibank’s website. So, if there are 10 such identical websites and each website claims to be the official Citibank. So, how would the user know which one is the authentic one?

In such a situation, the role of CAs comes into the picture. It is their job to verify the websites/organisations and provide assurance to all Internet users about the authentic identity of a website to help them stay safe online. The process is done with the help of implementing SSL certificate on a website! When users see the presence of SSL certificate on a website, they feel more assured to perform transactions without worries. After all, you would not want to submit your banking account details on the Internet to parties other than the intended bank’s server, right?

How do Certificate Authorities use SSL certificate to validate a website?

Here’s a screenshot of how SSL certificate can help users to identify the authenticity of a website:

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Click the part highlighted in red box and it will open a box with detailed information on the SSL certificate of the website you are currently visiting.

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From the information, users can determine that the website, www.webnic.cc has been verified by DigiCert. Users will feel safe to perform transactions safely on this website. In other words, DigiCert has verified www.webnic.cc, so users can be 100% confident that they are connected to the official WebNIC site.

Certificate Authorities act like a passport authority on the Internet

When CAs issue an SSL certificate to a website, it is similar to your government issuing you a passport. The department in charge of issuing the passport requests that you go through a passport application process, whereby they verify you by your legal papers, photos and fingerprints. Finally, they release the passport to you, in which you use it anywhere in the world to prove your identity.

CAs are literally doing the same thing, but for websites and digital activities and footprints. They have in place a vigorous verification process, in which it depends on the SSL certificate type requested by the applicant and they charge a fee for it. Once verification is done, the CAs issue a digital certificate to the applicant (a passport for a website), and the applicant installs it on his/her website server to display to users. When users see the SSL certificate, the assurance will be similar to the assurance of when a country’s immigration officer sees your passport. Digital certificates prove that you are the authentic one!

The different types of digital certificates a Certificate Authority issues

1. SSL/TLS Certificates
SSL/TLS certificates are used to facilitate and secure the data communication between a browser and a website’s server. Once they are installed and working properly, it displays a lock on the left side of a website’s URL which indicates communication is encrypted and secured.

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2. Code Signing Certificates
Code signing certificates are mainly used by software developers and programmers to secure their programming code. These certificates ensure that the source code developed by them is authentic and it has not been modified by anyone. It protects users by authenticating the integrity of the code before they run a program or software, which might be malicious code.

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With code signing certificate

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Without code signing certificate

 

3. Email Signing Certificates
Email signing certificates are used to identify and verify individuals for web servers. They are also known as S/MIME certificates. When you sign your emails with this certificate, it assures the receiver that this email is genuine and that it is truly sent by you. Signed emails have a red ribbon and you can click it to view the details of the signer.

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4. Document Signing Certificates
Document signing certificates are mainly used to verify and authenticate the document creator. It is also great for validating the integrity of the document itself. It reassures document recipients that a document is as intended by the document creator by using a tamper-evident seal. If the seal is broken, the recipient will receive a warning about the integrity of the document.

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Some of the most famous Certificate Authorities

Global SSL Market Share and the Top 3 Certificate Authorities 10
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In conclusion, the global SSL market is still growing at a healthy pace, and all of the top 3 CAs – DigiCert, Sectigo and GlobalSign are all constantly innovating and improving their products and services. They are all top providers of digital certificates to ensure the safety of all organisations and Internet users alike. Thanks to their contribution, the Internet is a much safer and more secured place to perform transactions online, bringing huge convenience to our daily lives. They issue millions of digital certificates yearly, whereby these certificates protect private and confidential information, encrypt billions of transactions and enable secure communication for a higher safety level.

The good news is, WebNIC is a verified partner of all these top 3 CAs. We have partnered with them to offer a wide range of digital certificates to help our partners optimise their web service business. We offer a wide range of SSL/TLS certificates, document signing certificates and code signing certificate. Click the links below to learn more about each certificate:

DigiCert – https://www.webnic.cc/digicert-ssl-certificate/

Sectigo – https://www.webnic.cc/sectigo-ssl-certificate/

GlobalSign – https://www.webnic.cc/globalsignglobalsign-ssl-certificate/

Document Signing – https://www.webnic.cc/document-signing/

Code Signing – https://www.webnic.cc/code-signing/

About WebNIC

WebNIC is an accredited registrar by ICANN, and various countries including Asia, Europe, America, Australasia, and Africa. With offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Taipei and Jakarta, we serve 5,000+ active resellers in over 70 countries. To join us and become a reseller, live chat with us or email us at [email protected]

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