Three years ago only 15 percent of websites worldwide used a valid SSL (secure socket layer) certificate authority. In April 2018 that figure has jumped to 50 percent according to W3Tech’s data. The remaining sites either don’t have a certificate or have one that is not recognized by a major browser like Chrome or Firefox.
The reason for the sharp rise in SSL adoption is simple. In 2014, Google’s search engine started giving “https” sites a boost in their ranking algorithm. As of the beginning of 2018, Google Chrome now warns users every time they try to visit a website that does not have a valid certificate. Thus, the security measure that used to be solely associated with credit card transactions is now a must-have for all but the most obscure websites.
We looked at W3Tech as well as BuiltWith to determine which technologies are benefiting. Interestingly, the sites came up with different answers, partly because their bots were programmed to look for a different set of parameters. Among sites using SSL, 37 percent use Identrust and 36 percent use Comodo according to W3Tech. BuiltWith says SSL by Default is the leader among the top million websites subgroup with 25 percent. However, Let’s Encrypt and Cloudflare are both offering free certificates. Other vendors showing significant market share include DigiCert and GoDaddy.
Looking forward, hear that existing solutions will face competition from blockchain enabled identity and privacy solutions. We haven’t seen data to support that claim, yet.
Feature image: 18th-century lock and key, from Britain or America, New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.