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How Does an SSL Certificate Work? What is an SSL Handshake?

SSL Certificate works on a TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) protocol to send data over the internet. SSL follows a handshake process that sets up a secure connection without disturbing customers’ shopping experience. The SSL handshake process is as under:

  • After building a TCP connection, the client started the handshake with sending information like SSL version, cipher suites, and compression method.
  • The server then checks for the highest SSL version that is supported by both of them.
  • The server also chooses the compression method and the cipher suite from the client’s option.
  • After this exchange, the server sends a certificate (public key) to the client.
  • The client confirms the certificate, creates pre-master secret for the session, and encrypts the session with the server’s public key.
  • The server receives pre-master secret and decrypt it with the private key.
  • Both parties agree on a single cipher suite and generate the session keys (symmetric keys) to encrypt and decrypt the information during an SSL session.
  • Finally, both client and server exchanges encrypted message to ensure that the future messages will be encrypted.

The SSL handshake builds a secure connection and customers or users of a website will have a safe environment for potential web transactions.