What is an SGC Certificate?

There are vast technological resources available in the 21st Century. As such, there are many forms and layers of security present to protect the millions of people who use the Internet daily. When it comes to the Internet, security is paramount. Most people are familiar, at least on a surface level, with the concept and purpose of SSL certificates, but many people have never heard of SGC certificates. Read on to learn more about what they are, why they're used, and how they can impact your digital life.

SGC Certificates: What are they?

SGC certificates aren't anything scary or profound. They're simply another layer of security within your system. Short for Server Gateway Certificates, they are essentially a supplementary measure attached to the more widely-used and recognized Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security protocols.

Why Were They Created?

SGC certificates are a relic of the Internet explosion which took place in the 1990s. During this time of rapid cyber-expansion, new avenues of thenceforth unprecedented contact and cooperation between cross-border, international communications were being opened, particularly between financial institutions. As a result, American lawmakers created the legislation which gave birth to the Server Gateway Certificate.

The legislation in question was aimed primarily at the export of cyber-security solutions, requiring U.S. exports of such solutions to be based on shorter, weaker encryption. It is important to note that financial institutions were exempted, allowing them to use their traditional security measures, namely the stronger, more secure SSL certificate.

Their Modern Role

SGC certificates were used and designed primarily for non-professionals and older, less secure browsers. With advances in Internet security rendering such browsers all but obsolete, the need for the continued availability of SGC certification is often questioned. Nevertheless, the original legislation responsible for their creation and the restrictions on their use has been rescinded, and SGCs are widely available, if not widely used.

Regarding the simple use of SGCs, there is a segment of the technological community which calls for their expurgation, since their mere presence encourages and promotes the use of inferior browsers by technological hold-outs. In short, there is a portion of the technology community who decries SGC certificates because they promote a climate of negative safety.

It is self-evident, and thus safe to say, that SGC certificates are not as widely known as their more powerful, more secure elder, the SSL certificate. The simple reason for this is because they aren't as effective. Banks and other modern institutions requiring secure areas or interfaces within their digital networks rely on Secure Socket Layer certification because it is, to be blunt, better. Even so, those with very old browsers, particularly those running on outdated iterations of Internet Explorer, may find themselves well-served to use SGC certificates in addition to SSL technology, since their browsers are inherently weaker and more prone to attack and security breaches.

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