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What’s an OV SSL Certificate?

An organization validation (OV) TLS/SSL certificate is a certificate that is issued after a cursory review by a certificate authority. An OV certificate verifies the existence of an organization and the ownership of the domain name.

Entrust Advantage OV SSL Certificates include identity verification for two domains and avoid browser warnings with encryption to secure transmitted data. All Entrust certificates conform to the widely accepted x.509 international public key infrastructure (PKI).

Use Cases for OV SSL Certificates

Common use cases for OV SSL certificates include secure infrastructures that are not public-facing. This can include use cases such as web mail, internal login pages, intranets, etc. OV SSL certificates offer sufficient security and authentication that enterprises need for internal uses, without the higher costs and increased validation rigor associated with an EV SSL certificate.

What’s an EV SSL Certificate?

An extended validation (EV) TLS/SSL certificate is a digital certificate that’s issued after a more thorough vetting process by a certificate authority. EV TLS/SSL certificates comply with the x.509 international PKI standard and provide the highest assurance security. They offer strong encryption and greater identity verification compared to OV and domain validation (DV) TLS/SSL certificates.

The application process to request an EV TLS/SSL certificate is rigorous and follows the industry identity verification standards set out by the CA/Browser Forum. EV TLS/SSL certificates verify the domain of a website and the identity of the legal entity and physical location of the organization that operates the website. They also enable encrypted communications through the exchange of public-private key pairs.

Use Cases for EV SSL Certificates

Enterprises should use EV SSL certificates whenever they need to communicate a high level of trust to end-users. This can include pages such as shopping carts, login pages, and other public-facing pages that request highly sensitive information.

Securing web pages with an EV SSL certificate can decrease bounce rate, which in turn can boost a page’s SEO ranking. What’s more, EV SSL certificates from Entrust are compatible with 99.9% of current desktop and mobile browsers.

EV vs. OV SSL Certificates

EV certificates provide more security and a higher level of trust, but OV certificates are simpler to attain. An EV code signing certificate is required to sign Windows 10 drivers.

Users also see a visual differentiation in their browsers between EV and OV certificates. OV certificates produce a padlock icon in the browser bar. EV certificates produce a padlock and denote the highest level of security.

OV and EV Certificates vs. DV Certificates

Both OV and EV certificates are different from—and more secure than—DV certificates. DV certificates are typically issued through automated processes, which only verifies that the person requesting the certificate controls the domain they want to secure — a tactic that supports quick certificate issuance, often at no cost at all.

100 percent of Entrust SSL certificates provide identity assurance validated by either OV or EV verification methods. All of our SSL certificates are intended to provide trusted identity and encryption.

Managing Your TLS/SSL Certificates

No matter whether your organization opts for OV certificates, EV certificates, or a combination thereof, it needs an efficient platform to manage those certificates, make sure they’re compatible with all commonly-used web and mobile browsers, and make sure they do not expire unexpectedly.

Entrust Certificate Services is a web-based certificate lifecycle management platform that helps you manage all of your digital certificates, from Entrust and other certificate authorities. It provides access to a host of tools generating detailed reports that help users to improve uptime, avoid security lapses, and preserve brand reputation. Benefit from 24/7 web-based access to technical insights, status updates, and website scanning for end-to-end lifecycle management of all of your digital certificates. It also provides central visibility and control of public (SSL) and private certificates across multiple CAs.

Key Questions to Ask When Choosing Between OV and EV SSL Certificates

Not all TLS/SSL certificates are the same. Some key questions to ask before selecting between an OV certificate and an EV certificate include:

  • Will end-users submit personally identifiable information (PII) on this page? Information-only pages like product pages and blogs can be sufficiently secured with an OV SSL certificate.
  • Will payment information be accepted on the page? If so, an EV SSL certificate is an appropriate solution.
  • Is this page internally facing or public-facing? OV certificates are sufficient for internal resources like intranets and login pages.