FOCUS - Digital Certificates Service

Client Certificates

In September’s newsletter, we already provided some information about out service DCS (Digital Certificates Service). The digital certificate is a digital document that allows you to authenticate the owner, be it an organisation, a member of staff, a server or a website, as being a trusted source. With the Digital Certificates Service, Belnet offers to become your sole certificate administrator for the whole of your organisation, thanks to an interface offering you great flexibility and optimal management. This ensures custom-made security for your organisation's network, e-mails, websites and web applications.

Belnet offers, in collaboration with DigiCert, various certificates to our customers. In the upcoming months, we will look each of the certificates in detail, so that you can clearly understand the benefits of each certificate and distinguish it from the other certificates. This month we emphasize the Client Certificates.

It goes without saying that it is of the utmost importance to protect your servers as well as possible. How do you strengthen the user authentication system of a server? One of the solutions would be to add a second authentication system. Most servers authenticate users via the usual username-password technique. If you can supplement this technique with another method, it becomes much more difficult for a cybercriminal to break into the server. For servers whose users connect via web browsers, client certificates can be used as the second method of authentication.

A digital client certificate is usually a file, usually protected with a password, which is loaded in an application of a user (the client). The server recognizes this file so that the user can be authenticated. When you combine two ways of authentication, we speak of 2-factor authentication.

Belnet customers have the option to choose between different Client Certificates, depending on their needs and requirements. Below are the different Client Certificates offered by Belnet:


 

Server certificates vs client certificates

Do not confuse server certificates with client certificates. Both are digital certificates that relate to client and server applications, but they are two different things. A server certificate is sent from the server to the client at the beginning of a session and is used by the client to authenticate the server. A client certificate, on the other hand, is sent from the client to the server at the beginning of a session and is used by the server to authenticate the client.

For further questions about Digital Certificate Service, don’t hesitate to take a look on our website or on the Belnet Portal MyBelnet. You can also contact us through our Service Desk by calling 02 790 33 00 of via mail at servicedesk@belnet.be.