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What Is an EV SSL Certificate?

Diving into “what is an EV SSL certificate?” to ensure you find the right extended validation SSL/TLS certificate option for your organization!

From a technical perspective, SSL/TLS certificates accomplish the same thing: they secure communication between a browser and server using an HTTPS connection. However, some SSL certificates, like extended validation (EV) SSL certificates, most commonly called EV SSL/TLS certificates, enable greater digital identity verification and additional features.

So, how do you choose the right EV SSL/TLS certificate for your organization? You must consider several factors, including:

  • Certificate functionalities,
  • Certificate validation types,
  • Warranties,
  • IT support, and
  • Which certificate authority (CA) to use (based on price, brand reputation, and other considerations).

Let’s look under the hood at what makes EV SSL/TLS certificate so useful and unique.

What Is an Extended Validation SSL Certificate? A Quick Breakdown

The short answer to “What is an EV SSL certificate?” is that it’s the highest validation level you can obtain for an SSL/TLS certificate. You will go through the most stringent validation process, but you will get a few key benefits:

  • You’ll have the most respected SSL/TLS certificate on the market
  • Your site users will be able to confirm your verified organization details in their browser
  • Your site users will be able to avoid fake/scam websites

Are There Other Validation Levels?

Extended validation isn’t the only type of validation; it’s just the most stringent.

The validation level reflects the amount of digital identity verification you must undergo to receive an SSL certificate. The most basic level of validation only checks your domain name, which means that even a hacker can complete the validation process. Higher levels of validation also check organizational details to keep hackers out. Validation level differences are noticeable through the SSL/TLS certificate details shown in the user’s browser (more on that in the next section).

Regardless of the type of SSL certificate your purchase and install, all SSL certificates offer the same robust encryption. This enables you to secure the communications between users’ browsers and your web server, which ensures the data/info in transit can’t be intercepted in transit. With an extened validation SSL/TLS certificate, you also will display your organization’s validated information up front in the browser.

We’ll discuss the other two validation levels more later in the article. In the meantime, let’s explore what’s involved in a CA’s extended validation process.

An Overview of the EV SSL Certificate Validation Process

The EV SSL certificate is the highest level of validation. The process of getting validated for an EV SSL cert includes: 

  • An enrollment form
  • Organization authentication
  • Operational existence
  • Physical address
  • Telephone verification
  • Domain authentication
  • Final verification call

Yes, it’s a pretty thorough process. So, you might be thinking, why bother getting an EV SSL certificate?

EV SSL Benefit #1: Display Your Verified Organization Details in the Browser

When you use an EV SSL/TLS certificate, savvy users and shoppers will be able to view your organizational details easily in their browser up front. The same can’t be said with other validation levels that either don’t display the same identity info up front or require you to dig to find digital identity verification in a certificate’s details.

The EV certificate’s upfront display goes a long way in building trust with your customers as they can verify the organization’s identity much easier. All users need to do is click on the padlock icon in their browser’s address bar and they’ll see your verified organization name. For example, here’s what it looks like when you look at UBT.com’s EV SSL/TLS certificate information:

What is an EV SSL certificate graphic example 1: A screenshot of UBT.com that showcases extended validation SSL/TLS certificate information up front when you click on the icon in the browser's URL bar.
Image caption: A screenshot from UBT.com that shows the validated company information that displays up front when a website uses an EV SSL/TLS certificate.

Looking for more details? After clicking the padlock icon, select Certificate is Secure > Certificate is Valid to view more information about the certificate’s Subject and Issuer.

What is an EV SSL certificate graphic example 1: A screenshot of UBT.com that shows the validated organization a website user can review by looking at the site's SSL/TLS certificate.
Image caption: A screenshot from UBT.com that shows the types of company-related information that’s included in an EV SSL/TLS certificate.

EV SSL Benefit #2: Higher Liability Protection

You’re also typically going to get a higher warranty with an extended validation SSL certificate. Take the warranty range here on SectigoStore.comEV SSL certificate warranties range from $1M-$2M while DV SSL certs range from $10k-$50k. SSL warranties are highly important as they allow you to maintain a level of accountability on the CA.

EV SSL Benefit #3: Maintain Compliance & Follow Recommended Best Practices

Here’s another great benefit: the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), which is the “centre of network and information security expertise for the EU, its member states, the private sector and Europe’s citizens” recommends the practice of using an EV SSL certificate on your website.

Ultimately, extended validation SSL certificates act as a higher symbol of trust for users and show a higher level of commitment to security by you.

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Get the lowest prices on trusted SSL/TLS certificates from Sectigo brands.

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Who Should Use an EV SSL Certificate?

Extended validation SSL certificates are ideal for various applications with a higher level of identity assurance and trust. Websites frequently targeted for phishing attacks, such as well-known brands, banks, and financial institutions, can significantly benefit from using EV SSL certificates for their public-facing sites.

However, any website that handles sensitive data (such as login information) or processes online payments can benefit from the added security and verified brand identity that an EV SSL certificate provides. Extended validation SSL/TLS certificates are a great way to prioritize user protection and trustworthiness, making them appropriate for online platforms.

How EV SSL Certificates Strengthen Online Security and Trust

EV SSL certificates are a cornerstone of online security, safeguarding against cyber threats and fostering digital trust. By providing a multi-dimensional shield, they not only protect organizations but also elevate their online credibility.

1. Defends Against Cyber Threats

At the forefront of their function, EV SSL certificates stand as a barrier against phishing attacks. High-profile websites, including major brands, banks, and financial institutions, find enhanced protection. These certificates thwart impersonation attempts by visibly displaying verified identities.

2. Cultivates Digital Trust

Extended validation certificates instill confidence in users through the use of validated digital identity. Websites handling sensitive data and online payments, such as e-commerce platforms, gain a significant advantage when they prove they’re the real deal and not scam sites. By presenting a verified digital identity, organizations foster trust and assure users of their legitimacy.

3. Facilitates Compliance

EV certificates offer more than security for industries bound by stringent regulations, like healthcare and finance. They serve as a concrete manifestation of adherence to HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR standards. This dual role ensures both protection and regulatory alignment.

4. Meets the Needs of Different Industries’ Applications

EV certificates transcend industries, serving diverse purposes. Government agencies and entities with public-facing services embrace these certificates to bolster trust. The certificates indicate a dedication to cybersecurity and confirm the legitimacy of services.

Industry-Related Use Cases:

  • Provides greater security for banking and financial institutions. In the financial realm, EV certificates fortify website and web app security for banks, credit unions, investment companies, and other financial institutions. This maintains customer trust and ensures the integrity of financial transactions in the digital realm.
  • Creates trust in healthcare services. Websites providing critical medical services and managing sensitive patient data leverage EV SSL certificates for trust and regulatory compliance. By doing so, they secure both patient information and user trust.
  • Provides corporate security. Large corporations offering a myriad of online services demonstrate their dedication to security by embracing EV certificates. These certificates validate their commitment to protecting user data and align security initiatives with corporate values.

EV SSL certificates reinforce online security and inspire unwavering user confidence by seamlessly weaving the above aspects together.

What Are the Other Validation Levels?

There are two other SSL certificate validation levels that you should know:

Domain Validation (DV) SSL certificates – This is the least stringent level of validation. Also, it’s the fastest issuance process (often taking just minutes). You only need to get your domain validated. The DV certificate is perfect for more simple websites, such as a blog.

Organization Validation (OV) SSL Certificates – This is generally regarded as the middle option. There aren’t as many steps in the validation process as an EV certificate, but more than one that’s domain validated. The process includes organization authentication, locality presence, telephone verification, domain verification and a final verification call.

Elevating Trust with a Sectigo EV SSL Certificate

Invest in a Sectigo extended validation (EV) SSL/TLS certificate to enhance your reputation and inspire client trust.

While priced at a premium, an EV SSL certificate delivers unmatched security. What sets it apart is the rigorous validation process conducted by the certificate authority (CA), ensuring user confidence through the padlock icon and prominently displaying your organization’s name within the browser.

Elevate client confidence and reinforce your commitment to security, leading to increased loyalty and amplified business opportunities. Strengthen your business data protection with the formidable security provided by a Sectigo EV SSL certificate.

SectigoStore.com Has Trusted EV SSL Certificates at Affordable Prices

So, we have answered “what is an EV SSL certificate?” If you’re looking for a wide range of EV SSL certificates from a trusted CA, look no further than SectigoStore.com.  From excellent prices to 24/7 support, this is the place for your EV SSL shopping!