Introduction to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

One of the major concerns when providing commercial services on the Internet is providing for transaction security and communications security.

Information exchanges are secure if all the following are true:
  • Messages are confidential.
  • The information exchange has integrity.
  • Both sender and receiver are accountable.
  • Both parties in the exchange can be authenticated.

Secure Sockets Layer (usually referred to as simply SSL) is a security protocol that was developed by Netscape Communications Corporation, along with RSA Data Security, Inc. The primary goal of the SSL protocol is to provide a private channel between communicating applications that ensures privacy of data, authentication of the partners, and integrity.

SSL is a protocol layer implemented on top of the standard TCP/IP socket API, which has security implemented within it. There are APIs for implementing SSL support for most languages (C language, Java™, and so on).