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Benefits of Wildcard SSL Certificate for your website


Wildcard SSL Certificate – What is it, and why do we need it?

The increase in the number of internet users has also unleashed the dark web. Moreover, the e-commerce industry is growing too. 

 

Organisations must devise ways to secure their website and networks. According to a study from the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds. The average cost of a data breach is slated at US$ 3.86 million in 2020. 

 

The constant risk of a data breach has made businesses bolster up their cybersecurity defences. It has led to a significant increase in the market for related products. 

 

The cybersecurity market was valued at US$ 156.24 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach US$ 352.25 billion by 2026. If you have several subdomains under a primary domain, you can utilise a Wildcard SSL certificate to prevent a website attack. 

  • Decoding a Wildcard SSL certificate

Businesses have felt the need to secure their website. But what will you do if there are several subdomains to manage? You can secure the primary domain and associated first-level sub-domains with a single Wildcard SSL certificate. It acts as a single solution for all the subdomains together.

 

The certificate can remove the hassles of having to manage multiple certificates. For example, you can use a single certificate for https://yoursite.com along with the first-level sub-domains like: 

 

  • blog. yoursite.com, 
  • about. yoursite.com, 
  • contact. yoursite.com, etc. 

 

You can also specify hostnames like IP addresses, DNS names, email addresses, etc. 

  • Why do we need a Wildcard SSL certificate?

Most large companies have several business lines across their global operations. They may have several subdomains under the primary domain. There is a need for a digital certificate that can help reduce the webmaster’s work by having a single certificate for all these subdomains. It is where the Wildcard SSL certificate helps.

  • How many sub domains can be covered?

 

Using the Wildcard SSL, you can secure several subdomains using a single certificate. However, if you choose a certificate for *.example.com, it will not provide security for example.com. Some CAs allow you to include the base domain name as the SAN entry (Subject Alternative Name). 

   

  • Possibility of using wildcard domains in my UCC certificate

Some of you can come with a query whether wildcard domains can be included in a UCC Certificate

 

The UCC certificate can help to secure multiple domains and several subdomains too. You may notice that wildcard domains on a UCC may not be the right solution but are easy and affordable. 

 

There are multi-domain UCC certificates that can provide security using wildcard domains, fully qualified domain names, etc. 

 

You can create the wildcard domains as the SAN or in the common name field when the UCC was purchased. 

 

Other wildcards can be put in SAN fields like *.ex1.example.com, *.ex2.example.com, etc. Multiple wildcard levels like *.*.example.com cannot be put.

  • Difference Between Wildcard SSL Certificate and SSL Certificate

Let us now understand how the Wildcard certificate differs from the SSL certificate.

 

Parameter SSL certificate Wildcard SSL certificate
Coverage A single certificate is provided for a single, fully qualified domain name (FQDN). The subdomains will not be covered. It covers the primary domain and an unlimited number of first-level subdomains.
Validation options Validation available for:

DV (Domain Validation)

OV (Organisation Validation)

EV (Extended Validation)

Only DV and OV validation levels are available.
Usage Ideal for small websites and blogs Ideal for large businesses
Hosting on multiple servers No Yes
Benefits Consumes time when installing separately for all subdomains A single certificate for the first-level sub-domains saves resources for the business.

  • Benefits of Wildcard SSL Certificate

Cost savings

The certificate can secure an unlimited number of first-level sub-domains. The webmaster can also edit or add subdomains whenever needed. There is no additional cost required to secure the subdomains, thereby allowing organisations to save on necessary resources. It provides a cost-effective solution for various businesses, including e-commerce companies and industry behemoths with multiple business lines.

Better certificate management

A Wildcard SSL helps in better security management of websites. The webmaster finds it easy to interact with a single vendor’s customer support team in case of any issues. The installation is more manageable through a few clicks, and you need not install several certificates. It is also easier to track renewals as notifications must be set up only once.

Guaranteed protection

The Wildcard SSL allows you to secure all your subdomains in a single place. It will enable you to secure the website with 256-bit encryption that helps to thwart any data breaches. You can continue to add or edit subdomains whenever needed. Most certificate authorities (CAs) upgrade their products to the latest technologies as well.

Provides trust

It is known that a trusted site will have more visitors, and it is essential for your website too. The Wildcard certificate with a domain or business validation ensures that your visitors are on a trusted website. A digital certificate from a trusted CA will improve the reliability of the site. It becomes essential if you have an e-commerce site. 

Many CAs also provide a trust seal along with the Wildcard SSL. It is an additional assurance of trust that you can place anywhere on the site. It also helps you to scale for the future, and you need not buy a new certificate every time you add a subdomain. 

Fast issuance

The Wildcard certificate is issued quickly, but the time window depends on the type of certificate you have requested. If you have chosen domain validation, it is a matter of minutes for the certificate to be issued. However, if you select organisation validation, it could be a matter of around two days. The CA will check the business documents.

Conclusion

The increase in the number of successful data breaches has ensured businesses utilise best practices to thwart such attacks. It is necessary for large enterprises, which have several subdomains, to install a Wildcard SSL certificate. It helps to secure all first-level subdomains along with the domain name. It does not require the webmaster to install multiple certificates that help improve certificate management.

As Wildcard SSL helps add an unlimited number of subdomains, you can also quickly scale your website. There is no necessity to re-issue the subdomain that makes the Wildcard certificate future-proof. It also helps to save on resources that make it one of the smart choices for most businesses.


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