Let’s Encrypt is a certificate authority that provides free SSL X.509 certificates for Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption via an automated process. Let’s Encrypt is designed to eliminate the cost and make the current complicated process of manual certificate setup easy. The current setup process requires a site owner to create a CSR; then perform manual validation, signing, installation, and renewal processes.

Let’s Encrypt launched in April, 2016, and addresses a large demand for an accessible and easy-to-use Certificate service that allows millions of small and micro websites to become secure. This is big for small businesses and the web overall. More websites can be secure. I imagine that making the process of getting and installing a secure SSL certificate will help more website owners do it. Let’s Encrypt is sure making that a reality. I installed a Let’s Encrypt certificate on a new website from the Cloudways admin page with one-click. Really. And it will automagically renew itself.

The Internet Security Research Group (ISRG), a public benefit organization, provides the Let’s Encrypt service. Sponsors include Akamai, Cisco Systems, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the Mozilla Foundation. Other partners include the certificate authority IdenTrust, the Linux Foundation, the Stanford Law School, and the University of Michigan. In the research report titled ‘Global SSL Certification Market 2016-2020’, released by Technavio, the global secure socket layer (SSL) certification market is set to surpass 3 billion by 2020. That’s a lot of certificates. The report categorizes the global SSL certification market into four end-user segments: Large Enterprises, SMEs (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises), Government Organizations, and Others. SMEs make up 32.23% of the global SSL market. Additionally, 46% of SMEs in the U.S. do not have a website, and 74% of those that do have a website do not have e-commerce.

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