Domain Validated (DV) Certificates vs. High Assurance

Why DigiCert only offers High Assurance SSL

What is Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates?

Domain Validated DV SSL certificates are digital certificates that authenticate only the validity of a domain and uses the lowest form of validation security.

Before a DV SSL is issued, a Certificate Authority (CA) will verify the ownership of a domain by contacting the technical contact in-charge and request for approval. For cost efficiency, CAs typically automate the validation for DV certificates, making it easy for anyone with a domain (but without a company) to obtain the certificate. This makes it easy for both phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks.

This is unlike high assurance certificates such as Organisation Validation (OV) and Extended Validation (EV) where a high degree of human element in the certificate issuance process is involved. This includes (1) checking on company’s background and existence via business registrars and (2) contacting the administrative contact via phone calls to ensure the business exist.

Why DigiCert do not offer DV?

From a security viewpoint, DigiCert believes that DV SSL certificates offer little value given that anyone can easily get their hands on the certificate. By doing so, this encourages a higher incident rate of phishing. DigiCert has a firm calling for high assurance and recommends site administrators to uphold the integrity of their websites by using, at least, an OV SSL certificate.

Compare DV vs. High Assurance

Domain Validation
Organisation Validation
Extended Validation
Authentication
Check Domain Ownership
Checks Business Registrar
Check Business by Phone Call
Displays Green Bar of Assurance
 

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