What Is an Exchange SSL Certificate and How to Get One?

Brief guide about what is an Exchange SSL Certificate and you can buy one

The risks of hacking have been increasing over time with statistics showing that 68% of businesses feel that they are at risk. It is time that companies started to have a robust IT policy that would prevent any unauthorized access to their networks. With the increasing importance of websites for your business, it is essential to ensure that your website is free from any such data breaches.

With a cyberattack happening every 39 seconds, companies need to install an SSL certificate that will help them thwart any data breach. The SSL certificate will ensure the encryption of the communication you will have with the visitor. It is also essential to ensure you are not marked as “Not Secure” by web browsers like Google that could lead to a loss of visitors. Moreover, it will also lead to tanking of your rankings during a keyword search. Earlier, it was not easy to install SSL certificates on Exchange servers. However, it is possible now with the unified communication certificate (UCC), or as some people call it the Exchange SSL certificate.

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What is the Exchange SSL certificate?

One of the widely used email servers is the Microsoft Exchange Server and is used in sending and receiving emails. Till some time, it was not easy to install an SSL certificate on these servers but doing it has become more manageable now. It has widespread use, and it is necessary to protect these servers too. They are a cost-effective solution, and most such certificates are compatible with the Exchange server. The Exchange SSL certificate uses 256-bit encryption along with a 2048-bit RSA signature key to preventing data breaches.

The ideal SSL certificates could be the Windows PKI certificates or those entrusted by the certificate authorities. Microsoft, however, prefers the latter. Also known as the Subject Alternative Name (SAN), it is the certificate of choice for several host services offered by Microsoft. It is compatible with Outlook Web Access/App (OWA), exchange servers, Autodiscover, webmail, etc. The certificates are available in the different validation levels, viz. Domain Validation, Organization Validation and Extended Validation.

The UCC or Exchange SSL certificate can function as a wildcard or a multi-domain certificate as and when necessary. It will depend on how the webmaster configures it. You can quickly secure several websites residing on the server, and the certificate will prevent any unauthorized access by rogue elements.

Benefits of Exchange SSL certificate

These certificates allow you to use Outlook with better protection levels. Mobile users can connect to the exchange using the ActiveSync software that will enable it to send and receive emails over a secure environment and sync the data. It is trusted by most mail servers and clients and is compatible with all versions of the Microsoft Exchange, including Exchange 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016. Microsoft services like Outlook can be seized by criminals that could lead to sensitive data being compromised.

1. Sense of trust

Like all SSL certificates, the Exchange SSL certificate also instils a sense of trust to the client. It ensures the client that the interaction is with genuine and authenticates the MS Exchange server while allowing a discrete and secure connection using Outlook Web Access/ App.

A certificate from a trusted third-party like a certificate authority provides the additional trust factor as it is authenticated and validation by a trusted entity. Based on the validation levels, the certificates could be entrusted with higher levels of security.

2. A single certificate helps

It always helps to have a single certificate catering to several domains and sub-domains of exchange servers. It enables the webmaster from having to manage several vendors and keeping notified of any upcoming renewals. It also makes requesting technical support easier as you must talk to only one vendor. On hindsight, it can also help in a better relationship with the vendor over time and could lead to better discounts at the time of renewal.

3. You also have these benefits

The Exchange Server SSL Certificate from the renowned certificate authorities can come with warranties that is also an assurance of beefed up security for the exchange server. You can rest assured that the sensitive data with not be breached easily. The certificate is compatible with all browsers and can also be issued after proper validation checks.

How do I get an Exchange SSL certificate?

Step #1: The UCC certificates are the best choice to safeguard the Exchange servers. There are some certificates that are renowned and, you must consider various factors before choosing one.

Step #2: After making the payment, you must generate a Certificate Signing Request. You must insert the details requested for by the Certificate Authority (CA) as they will validate them.

Step #3: When you have entered the details requested by the CA, you must finish the rest of the configuration process and wait for an email confirming the order. Here, you need to validate domain ownership of main domain and other SAN domains. When you have completed the configuration process, the CA will investigate and validate the details you have entered. The levels of validation will depend on the type of certificate you have requested.

Step #4: Once the CA has validated the certificate, the certificate files will be forwarded over an email. The files must be installed on your server.

Conclusion

The risks associated with a breach of data has been increasing over time. It is critical for businesses to beef up the security levels. The Exchange Server requires stringent security levels that can be possible by implementing an Exchange Server SSL Certificate. It will help to prevent unauthorized access to the emails that are transacted between the parties. The certificates are compatible with almost all well-known browsers. In this article, we have discussed in detail the benefits of the SSL certificate and how it can be installed at the servers. We sincerely hope it will help you to enhance security for the Exchange Server.

 

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