Definition: The abbreviation SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is a protocol that provides encryption functionality at the Internet’s transport layer. The protocol is used with more than one type of data transmission (i.e. email, browsing, etc.). A more advanced protocol, TLS (or Transport Layer Security), uses certificate authorities and is based upon authentication of the message on both ends of the transaction. This protocol is the successor to the current protocol. Encryption of this type makes online business transactions possible.

Its Relevance: An organization’s information security policies must specify how and when encryption technology is used. Third party outsource agents can be used to provide the service. The manner and depth in which endpoint to endpoint encryption mechanisms are used must be detailed and the person responsible must be held accountable for consistent implementation.

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