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SSL with Outlook

Posted on 2006-10-25
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What is the difference between SelfSSL and purchasing an SSL certificate from Verisign.  I am not hosting a website and am only interested in securing OWA.  Thanks.
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Question by:hckynt
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6 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Tim Holman
Tim Holman earned 240 total points
ID: 17803507
Technically, absolutely nothing.  The SSL cipher strength and security of your applications are identical.
It's all a matter of trust.
Big companies will use Verisign, as it's internationally recognised as a trusted authority that can issue certificates.
Small companies/home users can get away with self-signing SSL certificates, especially if there's only one IT administrator in the company.  Just make sure you keep the keys in a safe place.
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by:hckynt
ID: 17803556
Thanks for thre quick response.  Please correct me if I am wrong but SelfSSL is free and Verisgin is like $1,000.00?  So I am paying the grand for "image and impression"?

Thanks!
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LVL 18

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PowerIT earned 260 total points
ID: 17804627
No no, not for "image and impression'. The difference is that Verisign is an internationally trusted authority, which means that their root certificates are already added by default to the trusted certificates in your webbrowser. So when signing your website with a Verisign certificate it is automatically accepted by the browser. Which is very important for large scale sites which use a lot of https, but indeed not for your OWA.

J.
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Author Comment

by:hckynt
ID: 17804719
Thanks guys!  Great information.  Bottom line I guess, is with OWA only SelfSSl is the way to go.  Whern hosting a high traffice commerce website, verisigin is the way to go.  One more question.  Verisigin says I can add certificates for each user to encrypt their mail messages.  The cost I bwlieve is $20.00/yr.  Will adding these casue any problems if I implement the SelfSSL?  Thanks!!!!!
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:PowerIT
ID: 17805944
No those won't create a problem. They are not used for SSL, but for encrypting the messega itself or for signing it (if that's what's in the certificate key usage).
Typically when encrypting mail the transmitter encrypts with the public key of the receiver, who then decrypts with his own private key.
When signing a mail, the  transmitter encrypts a hash ot the message with his own private key. Then the receiver decrypts the hash with his public key and compares it with a hash which he calculated himself. This is also used in non-repudiation schemes.
Of course, email client software must make this as transparent as possible for the user. You have to add that individual certificate to the client software.

J.
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Author Comment

by:hckynt
ID: 17805986
Thank you all!
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