It’s not necessarily a lot of money, but it can range between $30 and $3700, and that’s for a year. Websites don’t generally cost much to host, with most of the money going to development, but when security certificates are a yearly cost — and a fairly expensive one, at that — it’s not going to be a necessity for every web page.
To help get businesses and websites on track with this, however, Symantec is about to offer them a lifeline, with free security certificates under a program it calls “Encryption Everywhere”.
The concept is fairly easy, with Symantec working with hosting providers and control panel solutions to get a basic security certificate installed onto servers that use it. If you currently run a website for your business, it might be worth checking with your hosting provider whether you can get the Symantec certificate for free, or if you run your own server, it may come through cPanel and WHMCS.
But that’s pretty much it, because if you don’t use one of the few supported platforms in the beginning or host with Internet X or HostPoint — the first two hosting companies that work with Encryption Everywhere — you’re basically out of luck, as we found when we tried to acquire a free certificate ourselves.
“Basically, what we’re doing is a phased approach,” said Savvides. “In our first iteration, we are targeting hosting companies to offer this free to customers as part of their hosted offerings.”
In fact, Savvides has said that the timing for anyone to just grab one of the free certificates “has yet to be determined”, because right now, it “has to come from a hosting provider” but eventually the company wants to open it up.
That means the while the company will be offering free security certificates, your website isn’t likely to get them just yet.
Despite this, Symantec has set itself a target of 2018 to get the internet totally secure, though we’ll admit that its free security certificates (with a catch) have a long way to go themselves until they’re truly helping the web get to that point.