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The Importance of Identity Validation

Certification authorities (CAs) issue SSL certificates according to guidelines set forth by industry standards groups. The guidelines are different for each certificate type EV, OV and DV. CAs issuing certificates with identity verification are required to check with specific third parties to establish the official name of the organization and where they are located. The CA must also take further steps to contact the requesting organization to confirm that they did, indeed, request the certificate and that the requester is authorized to receive the certificate on behalf of the organization. When visiting a website using an EV or OV certificate, the end-user can verify that their private data is securely transmitted to the intended recipient. 

Certificates issued using EV verification methods undergo the most rigorous vetting process earning them a lock icon, company name, and country ID in the web address bar for most web browsers.

The name of the entity that controls the website for certificates verified using OV guidelines display the identity in the certificate details.

Unfortunately, not all certificates meet the same standards. And it's important to understand the difference.

The DV Dilemma

Domain Validated certificates are typically issued through an automated processes, which only verifies that the person requesting the certificate controls the domain that they want to secure — a tactic that supports quick certificate issuance often at no cost at all.

And as you might guess, a DV certificate contains no identifying information in the organization name field. Typically, this value just re-states the domain name or simply says "Persona Not Validated." In other words, although the DV certificate encrypts the transaction, the end-user cannot trust the certificate to confirm that is being transmitted to the intended entity.

DV verifies that the website you’re visiting is encrypted. It does not provide identity assurance and is not recommended for e-Commerce or online financial transactions.

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.