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TLS Offloading Delivers Private, Secure, and Satisfying User Experiences

Ben Vaughan • March 3, 2017

If you’ve ever been curious about how digital storefronts keep your login and payment info secure, the answer is Transport Layer Security (TLS). TLS is a cryptographic protocol that encodes communications and is a must-have for a successful online business presence.

Digital consumers are extremely security-conscious. With near-constant news about cyber security and privacy threats, shoppers are driven towards businesses that prioritize and guarantee their digital security.


A Changed Playing Field

During January 2017, Google Chrome version 56 was released to the general public. With this release, Google is now marking sites as insecure if login or credit card prompts are not hosted from an HTTPS site.

A warning in the URL bar alerts users that the site is insecure. If your online store is configured to display login prompts or process initial checkout steps via a non-HTTPS page, your customers may be scared away from your site if they see this warning.

As we addressed earlier, today’s digital consumers prioritize security and these in-browser warnings will certainly affect shoppers’ willingness to do business with insecure sites.

TLS
Notice how Chrome 56 informs users that the non-HTTPS site may have compromised security

Eventually, Google Chrome will label any site that does not use HTTPS as insecure; however, they haven’t announced a date for making this change.

Privacy protections against Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) harvesting customer browsing behavior are being challenged and may be overturned. Overturning these rules allows ISP’s to collect data and market to your customers based on their browsing activity in your online store. What your customers do in your online store is between you and your customer and should not be subject to monitoring by a third party marketing service.


How To Keep Your Customers Secure

Implementing full-time TLS security on your site protects both your customers’ privacy as well as their security. Furthermore, modern browsers will respond favorably, informing visitors that their connection is secure. This is critical in today’s digital economy.

In the past, using SSL or TLS protocols occupied excessive server resources and bogged down site responsiveness. Today, next-generation load balancers and enhancements in site architecture practices have resolved these resource cost concerns. You can now achieve a fast, responsive site by utilizing TLS offloading at the load balancer.

Using your load balancer to terminate the TLS connection permits back-end caching to:

  1. Speed up customer page load-times for both logged-in and not logged-in users
  2. Use intelligent load balancer routing rules to send requests to the most appropriate application server
  3. Keep the TLS encryption work isolated to the load balancer.

TLS offloading within the load balancer enables the site performance and security that drives eCommerce success.


Ben Vaughan

About the author

Ben Vaughan

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