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AWS Simplifies Web Site Security Certificates

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) is getting into the digital Web site security certificate business. The cloud giant has launched a new initiative to simplify the process of using Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) certificates, providing authentication and encryption services.

With the launch of the new AWS Certificate Manager (ACM), the company is streamlining and automating the complex tasks traditionally associated with SSL/TLS certificate management. "ACM takes care of the complexity surrounding the provisioning, deployment and renewal of digital certificates," exec Jeff Barr said in a blog post last week.

SSL/TLS certificates guarantee Web site security, as indicated by the little green padlock symbol preceding the "https://" part of Web site URLs displayed in browsers, certifying that the site's content is really coming from who it's supposed to come from.

"SSL, and its successor TLS, are industry standard protocols for encrypting network communications and establishing the identity of Web sites over the Internet," the ACM site says. "SSL/TLS provides encryption for sensitive data in transit and authentication using SSL/TLS certificates to establish the identity of your site and secure connections between browsers and applications and your site. AWS Certificate Manager provides an easy way to provision and manage these certificates so you can configure a Web site or application to use the SSL/TLS protocol."

Now, AWS cloud users can use the new service, for free, with their Elastic Load Balancers and Amazon CloudFront distributions. According to AWS, "Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances in the cloud," while "Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery Web service" for fast and easy distribution of content.

"SSL/TLS is a must-have whenever sensitive data is moved back and forth," Barr said. "For example, sites that need to meet compliance requirements such as PCI-DSS, FedRAMP, and HIPAA make extensive use of SSL/TLS.

The ACM is now available only in the US East (Northern Virginia) region, with more regional availability planned.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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