This topic describes the benefits and usage notes of HTTPS secure acceleration and how it works. HTTPS secure acceleration is used to encrypt HTTPS connections between clients and Alibaba Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN) nodes. It ensures data security during transmission.
What is HTTPS?
HTTP is used to transmit data in plaintext. In this case, data is not encrypted. As an extension of HTTP, HTTPS is an HTTP channel designed to ensure data security. In HTTPS, the communication protocol is encrypted based on Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). HTTPS supports authenticated and encrypted connections. Therefore, it is widely used to transmit sensitive data, such as transactions, over the Internet.
A report released by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in 2017 shows that more than 50% of web traffic worldwide is transmitted over HTTPS.
How it works
After you enable HTTPS in the Alibaba Cloud CDN console, requests transmitted from clients to CDN nodes are encrypted over HTTPS. CDN nodes retrieve requested resources from origin servers and then return the resources to clients based on the HTTPS settings of the origin servers. We recommend that you configure and enable HTTPS for your origin server to implement end-to-end HTTPS encryption.
- The client sends a request over HTTPS.
- The server has the public and private keys prepared.
Note You can bring your own public or private keys, apply for them from a professional organization, or apply for a free certificate in the Alibaba Cloud CDN console.
- The server sends the public key to the client.
- The client authenticates the certificate.
Note A certificate is considered valid if the following requirements are met:
- If the certificate is valid, the client generates a random number as a key. The client uses the public key to encrypt the random number and transmit it to the server.
- If the certificate is invalid, the SSL handshake fails. You must upload another certificate for authentication.
- The certificate is not expired.
- The certificate is issued by a trusted certificate authority (CA).
- The public key of the certificate can decrypt the signature of the server certificate.
- The domain name on the server certificate is the same as the actual domain name that is hosted on the server.
- The server uses the private key to decrypt the random number.
- The server uses the random number to encrypt data transmitted from the server.
- The client uses the random number to decrypt the received data.
- HTTPS secure acceleration protects communications from eavesdropping, tampering, impersonation attacks, and man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks.
- HTTPS encrypts sensitive information such as session IDs and cookies before transmission. This minimizes the risk of sensitive information leaks.
- HTTPS checks data integrity during transmission to protect the data from MITM attacks, such as DNS hijacking and tampering.
- HTTPS is the new standard. An increasing number of mainstream browsers such as Google Chrome 70 and later and Mozilla Firefox have labeled HTTP web URLs as not secure since 2018. If you choose to use HTTP, your website may be exposed to security risks. Users who visit your website by using these browsers are prompted that this website is not secure. This compromises user experience and may reduce visits to the website.
- Google and Baidu prioritize HTTPS web URLs in the search results. Additionally, mainstream browsers must support HTTPS before they can support HTTP/2. HTTPS is a more reliable choice in terms of security, market share, and user experience. Therefore, we recommend that you upgrade your communication protocol to HTTPS.
|Enterprise application||HTTPS protects confidential information on enterprise websites from being hijacked or intercepted. Confidential information, such as customer relationship management (CRM) data and enterprise resource planning (ERP) data, can be protected during transmission.|
|Government websites||HTTPS protects sensitive information on government websites against attacks such as phishing and hijacking. Leaks of such information may compromise the public trust.|
|Payment systems||HTTPS protects sensitive data such as the customer names and phone numbers used in payment transactions against hijacking and spoofing. If sensitive data is leaked, attackers can use such data to trick customers into making duplicate payments. This causes losses to both the customer and the enterprise.|
|API operations||API operations can use HTTPS to encrypt important information, such as sensitive data and important instructions. This protects the information against hijacking.|
|Enterprise websites||HTTPS improves user trust and experience. Web browsers display a lock icon in the address bar for websites with domain validated (DV) or organization validated (OV) certificates. The enterprise name is displayed together with the lock icon for websites that include extended validated (EV) certificates.|
HTTPS secure acceleration is a value-added service. After you enable HTTPS, fees are charged based on the number of HTTPS requests. For more information, see Static HTTPS requests.
Note HTTPS requests are separately billed and the fees cannot be offset by data transfer plans of Alibaba Cloud CDN. Before you enable HTTPS secure acceleration, make sure that you have a sufficient balance in your account. If the balance is insufficient, your CDN service may be suspended.
|Configure an SSL certificate||Implements HTTPS secure acceleration.|
|Enable HTTP/2||Enables the latest HTTP protocol, HTTP/2. This protocol is supported by mainstream browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox.|
|Configure the forcible redirect feature||Redirects requests to HTTP or HTTPS URLs.|
|Configure TLS||Ensures communication security and data integrity.|
|Configure HSTS||Forces clients such as browsers to communicate with servers over HTTPS. This reduces the risk of cookie hijacking.|