The Difference Between DV and OV SSL Certificates
SSL Certificate is important as it ensures that any data transferred between the two parties cannot be intercepted by anyone else.
Three types of SSL certificates exist – Domain Validated (DV), Organization Validated (OV), and Extended Validated (EV) certificates. To choose the right SSL for your website and ensure better security, you need to understand the difference between the 3. This article delves into the DV vs. OV SSL certificate comparison.
DV vs. OV SSL Certificates: The Main Differences
Level of Authentication for DV vs. OV SSL Certificates
DV certs offer the lowest, most basic level of validation. The entity requesting the certificate must prove their ownership and control over the domain/ URL to be secured by SSL.
OV certs offer a higher level of validation. The entity requesting the certificate must prove their control over the domain/ URL to be secured by the SSL and that their organization is a legitimate one. Since the entity must provide legitimate business information and the CA (Certificate Authority) scrutinizes the legitimacy of the organization,
So, comparing DV vs. OV SSL, OV certs provide greater levels of trust and legitimacy to the website.
Process/ Steps for Validation
The process for obtaining a DV SSL is pretty simple and straightforward since the entity must prove domain ownership. The CA will require the entity requesting the certificate to complete email verification, file-based verification, or Domain Registrar’s Information.
The OV SSL certificate issuance process is more detailed and involves 5 steps as the entity must prove the legitimacy and identity of their organization along with domain control.
- Organizational Authentication
- Locality Presence
- Telephone Verification
- Domain Verification
- Final Verification Call
Visible Cues of Protection Provided
While DV and OV SSL certificates both provide visible padlock signs, OV SSL certificates provide additional CA-validated information to demonstrate the legitimacy and identity of the website and the organization that owns it. The DV cert provides only the padlock sign in the address bar and no other CA-validated information.
Upon clicking the padlock sign, one can see the connection is a secure message with both certs and the Certificate (Valid) option. A dialog box opens on clicking the Certificate (Valid) option with an OV cert. Click the details tab, and you will find information about the organization to whom the certificate was issued and details about the organization along with information about validity, CA, etc.
Further, OV SSL certificates provide dynamic site seals while DV certs-only provide static site seals. The benefit of having a dynamic site seal is that it is clickable with current data, time of the page loading, etc., and real-time status checks. It inspires greater trust among users.
Time Taken to Obtain Certification
Comparing DV SSL vs. OV SSL, DV certs take the shortest time to be issued and happen within minutes. This is owing to the straightforward verification process. On the other hand, OV certs may take between 1 and 3 days to be issued by the CA.
In the DV vs. OV SSL certificate comparison, DV certs are very inexpensive and often available free of cost. Since it involves a longer validation process and manual verification requirements, OV SSL certs are more expensive.
Barriers to Entry
DV SSL certificates have the lowest barriers to entry as the site owner does not have to prove anything else except domain ownership. Plus, the costs are very low. So, anyone can get such a certificate. But obtaining an OV SSL is not as easy or cheap.
While DV SSL may benefit some businesses and individual users, it gives SSL access to cybercriminals who can SSL-protect phishing and illegitimate websites. This way, they attract user trust with the padlock sign, and users may end up doing the attacker’s bidding. On the other hand, users may not trust legitimate websites if they do not have dynamic site seals or provide CA-validated information. So, a legitimate business may suffer.
Level of Warranty
DV SSL offers extremely low warranties in comparison to OV SSL. The warranties are so low in some cases that they may be insufficient to cover damages in case of any encryption errors or CA-side errors. OV certificates offer higher warranties, adequate to cover any mishaps owing to bad SSL.
Who Should and Shouldn’t Choose DV SSL vs. OV SSL?
DV is best suited for personal blogs, static websites, and other websites where no transactions are conducted or personal information is collected. DV certs are unsuitable for any other types of websites.
OV certificates are best suited for business sites, login screens, medium to large businesses, non-profits accepting donations, websites collecting sensitive information through forms or checkout pages, etc.
OV certs, however, are inadequate for dynamic websites, e-commerce sites, large enterprises, fortune 500 companies, banks and financial institutions, healthcare organizations, etc. Such websites must be protected with an EV SSL certificate that offers the highest level of assurance.
The choice of SSL certificate should be driven by the level of security needed and context. Costs should not dictate the choice of SSL as the DV vs. OV SSL certificate comparison amply highlights.