INFO: Types of SSL Certificates - Validation Level
Posted by Valarie S. on 22 June 2021 12:14 PM

There are many different types of SSL certificate options available, all with their unique use cases and value propositions. The level of authentication assured by the Certificate Authority (CA) is a significant differentiator between the types. There are three recognized categories of SSL certificate authentication types:
- Domain Validation (DV)
- Organization Validation (OV)
- Extended Validation (EV)

The encryption levels are the same for each certificate, what differs is the vetting and verification processes needed to obtain the certificate. Within these authentication types, there are unique variations available to customers.

Domain Validation SSL Certificates (DV)

DV SSL certificates provide the quickest, easiest, and most cost-effective way to receive industry-standard encryption. This validation type requires proof of ownership for the secured domain and is typically issued within minutes. Once installed, DV certificates show trust indicators in browsers like the padlock icon and the string https:// before the website domain. DV certificates are not recommended for business websites but are ideal for internal sites, test servers, and test domains because the legitimacy of the organization is not vetted.

The value proposition of DV SSL:
- Validates control of a domain
- Enables https and the padlock icon in browsers
- Issues within minutes

Organization Validation SSL Certificates (OV)

OV SSL certificates are a step up from DV. An organization must prove it owns the domain it wishes to secure and confirm that it is a legally registered business. These can only be issued to a registered organization and not individuals, making them more suitable for public-facing websites.

The value proposition of OV SSL:
- Validates control of the domain
- Enables https and the padlock image
- Authenticates the legitimacy of an organization, adding a level of trust
- Shows organization details in the certificate information

Extended Validation SSL Certificates (EV)

EV SSL certificates provide the highest level of trust and are the industry standard for business websites. In addition to the trust indicators provided by the DV and OV types, EV SSL certificates activate the “green address bar“ in select web browsers by displaying the authenticated company name in green adjacent to the web address. To receive one, customers must meet the authentication requirements for an OV SSL but also go through a stricter vetting process performed by a human specialist. Research indicates that consumers who see the green address bar on sites experience greater confidence in the site’s legitimacy and are more likely to engage in online transactions. This type is recommended for all business and enterprise websites, but is especially important for any site that requests personal information from users (financial, legal and otherwise).

The value proposition of EV SSL:
- Validates control of the domain
- Enables https and the padlock image
- Authenticates the legitimacy of an organization, adding an additional level of trust
- Verifies the applicant has the right to request an EV SSL and is in good standing with the organization.
- Shows organization details in the certificate information
- Activates the green bar in select web browsers

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