In this ever-evolving technology era, security on the web has become a prime concern for everyone. News headlines of data breaches and companies and systems getting compromised are creating a fearful ecosystem. Even though big organisations across the world are taking serious and advanced steps to eliminate or at least mitigate cyber threats, new vulnerabilities and data breaches are being reported on a daily basis. Today, it has become imperative to do a better job of securing our data online.
Talking about securing the web, HTTPS is one of the most vital parts. There was a time when HTTP was doing the job, however, gone are those days. Today, if you are not making use HTTPS you are putting yourself and your data on risk.
You all must be wondering now, what is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? And why HTTPS is more secured. In this article, we will be seeing just that.
Why People Are Dropping HTTP And Opting HTTPS
HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. Simply put, it is a protocol that is used to transfer hypertext over the Web. Even though it has been one of the widely used protocol, it couldn’t last for a long time because of the security flaw it poses — data (i.e. hypertext) exchanged using HTTP goes as plain text. Meaning, if anyone establishes an interception between the browser and the server can keep an eye on the data. Today, in order to set up a secure session between server and browser, almost every website is getting rid of HTTP and implementing HTTPS.
HTTPS is the obvious answer when you are looking for a data protection issue. The “S” stands for security and that doesn’t convince you, then take a look at your address bar where the lock icon is there — it is the sign of an encrypted website connection. Today, whether its e-commerce, banking or any other sector, websites across the world are using https in order to protect data by encrypting it before sending.
How HTTPS Can Save You From Certain Cyber Attacks
One of the biggest advantages of using HTTPS is the fact that it lets you verify whether the webpage is authentic or a cloned one. For example, when you log into a website where you are going to enter some sensitive information, the first you need to see is the address bar. Make sure that you see that lock icon next to the URL.
The popularity of HTTPS has reached such a level that even the search giant Google has made HTTPS default, making your search history private. Otherwise, just like the old days, anyone on the same network would be able to see what you have a search on google.
Another major benefit of using HTTPS is that it prevents Man in The Middle (MITM) attack. If you don’t know what a man-in-the-middle attack is, it is an attack where the attacker secretly establishes space and eavesdrop on the communications between two parties. Sometimes, the attacker also alters the communication between both the ends, and they believe they are directly communicating with each other. So, when a website uses HTTPS, it encrypts the communication, making it difficult for third-party connections to intercept the network.
Word to the wise: HTTPS definitely let you verify whether they are legit or not. However, attackers have found out different ways too. An attacker cannot clone a website with the same URL, but it can make the URL look somewhat similar. For example, Phishing URL for Facebook: www.facb00k.com.
When it comes to cyber security, no organisation can take a light step. There was a time when people would think, they can still carry on with HTTP even after knowing that it has flaws. However, gone are those days, irrespective of the domain, every company has started implementing HTTPS. So, if you are still among those who are relying on HTTP thinking your website, the blog is not dealing with sensitive information, you are compromising big time with web security.