Internet infrastructure leader VeriSign, already one of the industry’s most trusted allies in online security, has announced it is unveiling a new security validation tool for smaller and mid-sized businesses to help legitimize their website with consumers.
VeriSign is best known for its SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates that it sells to websites to indicate high standards of encryption for sensitive information, particularly with consumer financial information in the case of retail websites.
The new product, the VeriSign Trust Seal, is geared towards smaller businesses that don’t generally need SSL certificates because they don’t directly handle sensitive information. These are businesses or retailers that outsource payment processing and financial information-gathering to third party sites but still wish to convey to site visitors that they run a reputable and safe operation, which we all know is a must in the e-commerce industry.
Companies that sign up for the Trust Seal undergo a rigorous corporate background check and an in-depth analysis of their website by VeriSign to determine their legitimacy. Those that past the muster are given the Trust Seal to post on their sites, which the company maintains increases the likelihood that visitors will purchase through that particular retailer.
Another added bonus to the Trust Seal package is that VeriSign will run daily malware scans on the retailer’s site to determine if it has been hacked or tampered with to attack or steal information from visitors to the site. This is especially valuable since hackers tend to target weaker, unprotected websites that many newer and smaller retailers operate. VeriSign itself farms out the daily malware scan feature but doesn’t indicate who its partner is. A one-year subscription to Trust Seal will run about $300, which isn’t a bad deal at all if it actually does what it is supposed to do.
We’ve always maintained here at Junkie that retailers should make sure they have security certifications like this, particularly because the leading hang-up that most consumers have about online shopping is, after all, security. Prominently displaying your partnership with a company like VeriSign can go a long way to establishing customer loyalty by communicating to them that you’re serious about their security and safety.
Nevertheless, there are some researchers and industry analysts who maintain that, despite their aesthetic value, these seals and verification programs don’t ensure safety at all, particularly since many cyber criminals can fake a verification seal. We don’t subscribe to that type of thinking at all. VeriSign is obviously a trusted company—its existing SSL certification program boasts a nearly one-quarter increase in traffic for sites that run it—and again, for $300 it’s not a bad investment.
Visit VeriSign’s site to learn more and feel free to leave us comments with your thoughts on this issue. If you’re a retailer, tell us if you’re using these types of certifications as part of your overall security program. And if you’re a consumer, let us know if you look for certifications when browsing online retailers.