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How a Google & Symantec Fight Over Internet Security Could Affect Your Business

Padlock in front of screen with ones and zeroes
Cybersecurity, Internet security

Everyone knows Google, but you may not know the important role cyber-security firms like Symantec play in keeping your business’s website up and running. When these two giants go head-to-head on Internet security, it could mean trouble for your company.

For many people, even many business owners, the Internet just works. They don’t give much thought to who or what keeps the net up and running, or what happens if it doesn’t. When two of those companies are at odds over internet security practices, it could suddenly seem like the Internet is broken. Here’s what you should know about what’s happening behind the curtain.

What is Symantec?

Symantec holds itself out as “one of the world’s leading certificate authorities.” That means it is in charge of making sure your website and others like it are safe for users. The company is responsible for securing and managing the massive amounts of information that passes between businesses and consumers online. As part of its duties, Symantec issues the security certificates that distinguish HTTP from HTTPS. These certificates assure web browsers and the consumers who use them that information entered into the website will be securely transmitted without substantial risk of hacking or security leaks.

Google Doesn’t Trust Symantec’s Certificates

But recently, Google accused Symantec of mis-issuing tens of thousands of web connection certificates. On March 23, Google said:

“Since January 19, the Google Chrome team has been investigating a series of failures by Symantec Corporation to properly validate certificates. Over the course of this investigation, the explanations provided by Symantec have revealed a continually increasing scope of misissuance with each set of questions from members of the Google Chrome team …. This is also coupled with a series of failures following the previous set of misissued certificates from Symantec, causing us to no longer have confidence in the certificate issuance policies and practices of Symantec over the past several years.”

Symantec strongly objected to the statement, calling it exaggerated and misleading. It said every certificate authority has mis-issuance events, and it complies with industry standards. Still, the company now appears willing to reissue the affected certificates.

What the Fight Means to Your Business

Google and Symantec’s fight over encryption certifications could put a big red warning sign between your website and potential customers. For over half of desktop users, Chrome is the browser of choice. That means if Chrome stops trusting Symantec’s certificates, half your web visitors could believe that your HTTPS website is “Not Secure.” For many users, that red triangle could be enough to make them turn and run without giving your business the consideration it deserves.

At Provisio Technology Solutions, we understand the technical side of Internet Security. We can explain how your encryption certificates work, and whether you need to be concerned. Don’t let a corporate feud shut down your web business. Contact Provisio today to schedule a meeting.