SSL/TLS is a deceptively simple technology. It is easy to deploy, and it just works . . . except that it does not, really. The first part is true—SSL is easy to deploy—but it turns out that it is not easy to deploy correctly. To ensure that SSL provides the necessary security, users must put more effort into properly configuring their servers.
In 2009, we began our work on SSL Labs because we wanted to understand how SSL was used and to remedy the lack of easy-to-use SSL tools and documentation. We have achieved some of our goals through our global surveys of SSL usage, as well as the online assessment tool, but the lack of documentation is still evident. This document is a first step toward addressing that problem.
Our aim here is to provide clear and concise instructions to help overworked administrators and programmers spend the minimum time possible to obtain a secure site or web application. In pursue of clarity, we sacrifice completeness, foregoing certain advanced topics. The focus is on advice that is practical and easy to understand. For those interested in advanced topics, we provide references at the end of the guide.
Download the guide:
- SSL/TLS Deployment Best Practices (PDF, 500 KB)