SSL proxies offer increased encryption, and anonymity as well as better visibility of potential threats. This post offers a deep dive into SSL-based use cases powering safer financial data transfers, preventative cyber security strategies, and blockchain technology safeguards.
What is an SSL Proxy?
SSL proxy is any proxy server that uses the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol, also known as an SSL proxy server. It performs encryption and decryption between the client and the server, without either of them being able to detect the proxy’s presence.
It is also called an HTTPS proxy, the abbreviation meaning Hypertext Transfer Protocol over SSL. To put it briefly, an HTTPS proxy is a proxy that uses the HTTP protocol over SSL. The HTTPS protocol has today become the standard for most websites and online services. The reason for this is simple – it ensures a much higher degree of privacy and security.
How does it work?
A key function of an SSL proxy is to emulate server certificates. This allows a web browser to use a trusted certificate to validate the identity of the web server. SSL encrypts data to ensure that communications are private and the content has not been tampered with.
The SSL proxy does the following:
- Acts as a client for the server by determining the keys to encrypt and decrypt.
- Acts as a server for the client by first authenticating the original server certificate and issuing a new certificate along with a replacement key.
- Decryption and encryption take place in each direction (client and server), and the keys are different for both encryption and decryption.
- Hands off HTTPS traffic to the HTTP proxy for protocol optimization and other acceleration techniques.
What are the benefits?
Here are the four major benefits of utilizing SSL proxies:
- Ultimate encryption: SSL certificates employ end-to-end encryption, essentially deeming “data leaks”/”data interceptions” en route to destinations meaningless, as this information cannot be read by parties, not in possession of the right “keys”.
- Added anonymity: Since SSL proxies serve as an additional step in the data transfer and encryption/decryption processes, they further distance “clients” from “servers”, and vice-versa. This structure, in and of itself, sets SSL proxies a step ahead of HTTP and HTTPS protocols as far as anonymity is concerned. These capabilities are similar to those accomplished by anonymous proxies.
- Increased control: As opposed to other protocols, SSL proxies enable an increased level of customized security controls. Specific security policies can be defined at the SRX Series Device-level and enforced at the SSL proxy level.
- Better Visibility: When embedded traffic “lands” on server-side territory, it can contain malicious attacks that can then be detonated. Game over. SSL proxies serve as a kind of “sand field” where potential “bombs” can be identified and detonated before entering more “delicate territory”.
What can SSL proxies be used for?
Although this proxy type offers more security and anonymity, SSL proxy use cases are more or less the same as those of other proxy types. Just as a refresher, they include:
- Web data scraping: The internet offers an endless supply of public information that is incredibly valuable for various stakeholders. However, collecting it on a large scale is a lot more difficult than it may seem at first. Most popular scraping targets automatically prevent large-scale data gathering by blocking IP addresses that make a much larger number of requests than the average. Scraping the web with rotating SSL proxies allows bypassing these restrictions placed on the freedom of data.
- Managing social media accounts: Many social media management platforms utilize proxies to aid marketers and social media managers in account creation and/or management. Registering and consequently using multiple accounts from the same IP (or, alternatively, the same person) is indiscriminately forbidden by the largest social media platforms, which can be a burden for legitimate marketers.
- Ad verification: Hackers and fraudsters use sophisticated methods to fake ad traffic. This means that a huge number of ads are never actually seen by real people and it also brings big losses for businesses. Due to this, an increasing number of companies use proxies for ad verification in order to detect fraud, improve ad performance, and check advertisers’ landing pages anonymously.
- Brand protection: Cyber attacks and intellectual property theft can result in severe damage to a business, including financial costs, loss of clients, and a hit to a brand’s reputation. SSL proxies can help protect a brand by increasing network security, filtering malicious emails, helping monitor internal internet usage, and more.
Learning about safety lead me to the inner workings of encryption. Without encryption, I may never have found a deep appreciation for my SSL proxy. We all take steps to keep ourselves safe when walking home at night or traveling alone, why shouldn’t we take the same precautions online? Especially considering we spent the majority of our lives online. Before you take the first step and purchase SSL proxies, remember the tips I mentioned about finding the highest-quality proxies available. Do your research, buy the right proxy, stay safe and enjoy all the internet has to offer.