Is SSL important for Exchange Servers?

lockOften in my experience at working at an exchange hosting company, I have found that customers rarely know the importance of SSL for exchange servers or even what SSL is. To me it is very surprising as the concept and functionality of SSL is so fool proof, I cannot see why anyone would overlook it. It is a vital feature; but before we get onto the importance of exchange servers, let’s look into a brief introduction of exchange servers.

What is SSL?

The abbreviation SSL stands for Secure Locket Layer. Its purpose is to ensure the safe exchange of data on platforms which are insecure such as internet. That is why the importance of SSL is huge if you are looking to build a secure exchange server.

SSL is the more common and broadly used term, but its technical name has now become TLS which stands for Transport Layer Security. This name helps us understand its functionality in a better way. This shows that the role of SSL or TLS is to secure the data exchanging on an OSI model’s (such as TCP protocol) transport layer.

How Does SSL work?

There are two different entities who exchange data when using hosted exchange or internet in general. These are web server and web browser. When there is an SSL (TLS) secured transaction, these two entities engage in an agreement of making the connection secure. How do they do that? A public encryption key is sent to the web browser by the web server, the browser then verifies the key to see if it can be trusted. If the key is good, the browser will give a number, enclosed in the server’s public key which makes certain that only server can read it. Hence a secure and impregnable connection is established.

Is SSL important for exchange servers?

Now we come to the core point of our topic. Is SSL really that important? I’m sure that up till now we have established its importance. And like I said before, that people don’t really understand its importance at first, but if you explain to them I have hardly seen a customer walk away with an exchange server with SLL.

How is it so important then? I’m sure you are aware of how the exchange servers work. They allow the clients to check their emails from anywhere. It means you do not have to be in the particular network to open your email. You can access it from anywhere and from any browser and on any device such as laptop or mobile.

This is convenient certainly, but it carries great risks. Imagine that you are entering your password, your company’s confidential documents and your business transactions on an HTTP connection which is insecure. Anyone would tell you that it is not a wise move. HTTP protocol is the most widely used protocol, which is swift and smooth but it doesn’t have any built in security feature. So when you transfer data or enter password over unsecure HTTP, you are open to any network hackers and troublemakers.

Once understood, SSL or TLS is very important to construct a safe exchange server. It’s simple application and clear benefits make it a compulsion for every reasonable mind.

Author Bio: Nuur Hasan is a website designer, a freelance content writer and online marketer. Nuur has been making money online for couple of years now. In his spare time, he browses exchange hosting as it’s valuable for any business.

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