— CAs leverage encryption-based technology expertise to widen application scope, finds Frost & Sullivan

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Secure socket layer (SSL) certificates are an encryption technology used to secure communications between end users and websites. Despite its maturity, the SSL certificate market is expected to grow due to the expanding ubiquity of the Internet. Acknowledging the need to be distinct in a competitive marketplace, certificate authorities (CAs) are offering value additions such as SSL certificate inventory and management tools to website hosts.

A recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the Global SSL Certification Market, finds that in 2013, 2.55 million SSL certificates were shipped. The market earned revenue of $795.5 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $1.66 billion by 2018. The study covers domain validated (DV), organization validation (OV) and extended validation (EV) certificates across various markets and verticals.

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CAs thrive on their reputation as providers of solid encryption codes and trustworthy validation of business entities. A case in point is the bankruptcy of the Dutch CA DigiNotar merely months after it was breached. Following this high-profile incident, the CA/Browser Forum established baseline requirements for the issuance of SSL certificates.

"Even if there are creative differences among vendors within the CA/Browser Forum, the highly codified nature of SSL certificate standards make competitive differentiation difficult," explained Frost & Sullivan Network Security Industry Analyst Christopher Kissel. "Nevertheless, CAs could stand out by offering elliptic curve cryptography or securing hash algorithm SHA-3, as more than 98 percent of all certificates employ SHA-1 or SHA-2 cryptography."

CAs can also attempt to enlarge their addressable market by improving the transactional time of the public key infrastructure (PKI) handshake. The encryption-based technologies used to initiate an SSL certificate handshake can be used in other digital certificate technologies. For instance, variations of the PKI used in the SSL certificate exchange are used in encrypted email, e-identity (eID), e-passports and smartcard log-in.

"Additionally, encryption is used for code-signing, document verification, and other digital certificates," noted Kissel. "The technologies that CAs use to secure point-to-point communications over the Internet can be leveraged to secure communications for healthcare exchanges, formal communications with government agencies, and as a part of e-transactions."

Owing to these value additions and multiple applications, SSL certificates are expected to remain the preferred transportation layer security method over the Internet for the foreseeable future.

Analysis of the Global SSL Certification Market is part of the Network Security Technologies (http://www.networksecurity.frost.com) Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: Asia-Pacific Secure Content Management Market 2013, Endpoint Security Market, North America and EMEA Managed Security Services Market and Emerging Trends in the Network Security Market in India, CY 2013. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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Analysis of the Global SSL Certification Market
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Clarissa Castaneda
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