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Glossary of Terms

What is TLS (Transport Layer Security)?

TLS (Transport Layer Security) Improves Privacy—but can Weaken Security

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a cryptographic protocol that enables authenticated connections and secure data transport over the internet via HTTP. A direct evolution of Secure Socket Layers (SSL), TLS has gone through a series of updates since its initial definition in January 1999. The most recent, TLS 1.3, added improvements in both performance and security, though its predecessor, TLS 1.2, remains in widespread use as well. Due to their shared history and similarities, the terms TLS and SSL are sometimes used interchangeably, and the same certificates can be used with both TLS and SSL.

While (TLS) Transport Layer Security can be highly effective for ensuring data privacy, it can also have an unintended consequence for cybersecurity. By encrypting internet traffic, TLS not only renders data unreadable; it also does the same for malware and other threats. To close this security gap, organizations typically need to decrypt incoming traffic for TLS/SSL inspection by security devices and software, a solution that can incur significant penalties in cost, performance, and scalability.

How A10 Networks Supports TLS (Transport Layer Security)

Encrypted traffic can allow threat actors to hide malware and other cyberattacks targeting an organization. A10 Networks Thunder® SSL Insight (SSLi®) eliminates this blind spot with a highly efficient approach to TLS decryption/SSL decryption, allowing organizations to decrypt and inspect incoming traffic at scale without impacting performance.



And thanks to providing privacy and security to connections between users and servers, encryption has become ubiquitous, to the point that over 90 percent of the internet traffic is encrypted. A10 Networks Thunder® Application Delivery Controller (ADC) provides SSL offload capabilities, which takes care of the compute intensive TLS/SSL decryption and encryption of application traffic, relieving the web servers from these duties and allowing them to function at optimal performance levels.

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