Remotely Pushing SSL Activation to a Website

Jan 11 2012
Platforms covered by OneClickSSL

When we started developing OneClickSSL, our aims were pretty focused. Hosting companies and larger enterprises spend way too much time and money understanding, supporting and managing SSL. We decided that automation was needed, and not just one part of the process, but all of it. So we developed technology that would automate the application, vetting, installation and binding of SSL to a website. We really believe we’ve reset the SSL paradigm by programmatically removing the requirements to understand the complexities of SSL and security best practices. To quote the over-quoted, it just works.

In 15 years of SSL, no other CA had done anything like this, not even close. So to wrap up this hyperbole in product terms, we call it OneClickSSL and it’s available in a series of plug-ins for cPanel, Plesk, IIS and Apache in March.

Like all good basic ideas, however, it’s the extra functionality that evolves along the way that pleasantly surprises you. The kind of use cases that don’t appear in the original requirements spec.

Returning to OneClickSSL for example – we turn the concept of granular and error prone CSR generation, application, vetting, installation and SSL binding into the simple entry of a “secure site voucher” into your webserver or Control Panel. The plug-ins then do the rest. We always expected the plug-ins to be used by hosting tech support or end customers to automate their usual SSL workflow, but typically at the control panel end user level. But as our tech team became intimately knowledgeable with the cPanel and Plesk control panel architectures, and after initial beta customers were boarded, we realised we could do more than just allow someone to “redeem” a voucher – we realised that an Admin could “push” a voucher to an end customer’s site directly, and remotely.

Why is this interesting? Well it means that we can give supervouchers to a hosting company or enterprise, and they can remotely activate SSL across as many websites as they wish. If SSL is bundled with a particular plan, they can activate SSL at the point of the plan being purchased. If a customer calls in having SSL problems, they can remotely activate SSL for their site. If a new corporate website comes online, the network administrator can even activate SSL for it from a browser on their iPhone. And all without compromising any security aspect of the usual SSL issuance process.

In these times of Cloud usage models and on-demand web service billing, OneClickSSL fits perfectly. Here at GlobalSign, we are genuinely excited where we’ll be taking this technology into the future… it’s really just the start. Check out the OneClickSSL overview video and microsite, and if you haven’t already, contact us for the plug-ins.