Understanding SSL/TLS Decryption for A Secure Business

CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Shibu Paul, Vice President of International sales, Array Networks


1.What is SSL Decryption and its Business Benefits?

Ans: Data can ideally travel over the Net without any security hiccups and clients can receive information they are searching for without any delays or issues, and businesses need not be worried about any malicious traffic entering their network.

Actually, malicious threats pose a real challenge to the privacy of insecure data traveling over the Internet. Therefore, encryption became vital to securing information moving over the Internet. This stopped data from being misused and helped protect its privacy. It also made sure that no one else in between understand it, but the two end communicators.

However, this encryption method has become so useful today that hackers have learnt its tricks and are cracking a company’s networks even through encrypted channels. So, how do companies secure their data, identify threats to encrypted traffic, and save their organization from malicious attacks and phishing? We will try to understand SSL/TLS decryption here.


2.What is SSL/TLS?

Ans: To guarantee confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of data traveling between two communicating applications or computers, cryptographic protocols—known as Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS)—are used with digital certificates.

TLS decryption checks the authenticity of traffic content by decrypting, analyzing, and re-encrypting the traffic because the encrypted traffic can be malicious, too.

These two important security protocols protect organizations from catastrophic threats, like ransomware, distributed denial of service (DDoS), data exfiltration, and others.


3. SSL vs. TLS – History and Evolution

Ans: The first usable version of SSL 2.0 was introduced by Netscape in 1995. It was soon overtaken by an advanced version, 3.0, in 1996. With serious security flaws, the first version never became operational.

In 1999 came TLS 1.0, which replaced SSL 3.0, although the differences between the two are not much. The two, TLS 1.0 and SSL 3.0, however, are not interoperable.

After a few more upgrades to simplify the process and strengthen security, in 2015, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) announced that the final SSL version was now outdated enough not to be of any use, and, in 2018, it came to the market with TLS 1.3 that is in use at present.


4. How does TLS Inspection Work?

Ans: TLS inspection works as a man-in-the-middle attack, acts as an ethical hacker, or is done in an authorized way to remove malicious traffic content. The SSL/TLS interceptor is placed between the client and the server for all the traffic to pass through. It then decrypts the traffic, analyzes the content, re-encrypts, and dispatches it to its final destination.

You may think that it is defeating the basic purpose of encryption. Well, initially, it does, but SSL inspection must be done legitimately, with robust security protocols to eliminate threats and attacks coming over the Net.


5. Purpose of TLS decryption

Ans: Why is TLS decryption so important? The current new infrastructure includes increasing adoption of Cloud and SaaS applications, which allows data to be accessible to third-party vendors, like Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). Data is also stored and accessed from multiple architectures and geographies. Thus, with increasing data movement across the Net, it becomes imperative for companies to protect their, employees’ and customers’ data notwithstanding from where it is accessed or stored.

TLS decryption allows better visibility of inbound and outbound traffic for a proper analysis of the information exchanged. It also saves companies from increasing malicious encrypted attacks. Lastly, it strengthens the company’s security with the addition of an extra layer of security.


6. Benefits of TLS decryption

  • Detecting and blocking malicious encrypted traffic
  • Gaining greater visibility of IP addresses and malicious threat actors
  • Meeting regulatory compliance by preventing confidential data transmission out of the organization by employees
  • Monitoring inbound and outbound traffic to identify whether information going out of the organization is intentional or accidental, and acting upon such knowledge


7. SSL Intercept Solution from Array

Ans: Tasks like decryption of encrypted data, inspection, and re-encryption is mission-critical and must be carried out with proper security protocols and procedures in place so that there are no unforeseen lossesArray’s SSL intercept (SSLi) works like a proxy and takes over the compute-intensive task of decrypting and re-encrypting from security appliances, such as WAF and load balancers. This allows performance to peak combined with stringent security measures. Additionally, the white-listing option makes sure sensitive data from reliable sites, such as banks and healthcare organizations, is not decrypted, thus helping adhere to such regulatory compliances as HIPPA.As an end word, users can control, deploy or configure all Array appliances from a centralized management platform for intuitive governance.

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