Websites and Apps Have One Year to Adhere to New Security Measures

Websites and apps have been given the deadline of January 1, 2017 to adhere to new security standards to minimize the risk of hacking and prevent a “mini-Y2K,” or have access to their websites taken away.

Over the course of the year browsers like Google Chrome will require tighter security measures if websites are going to work, or risk compatibility issues. Chrome is already issuing an onscreen warning to users when they visit a website that has a SHA-1 signed certificate, informing them of the “weak security configuration.” But from January 2017 some browsers will begin to stop supporting SHA-1 certificates, so users trying to access those websites will trigger a fatal network error.

In order to process information securely, websites and apps use a Secure Hash Algorithm, known as SHA, to encrypt and protect data. The industry has agreed to phase out the older version of this algorithm, SHA-1, as experts believe it is too vulnerable to attacks.

Websites and apps will now be required to use the newer version, SHA-2, which address the security weaknesses of SHA-1. While SHA-2 has been around for more than a decade and has long been the accepted standard, some websites and apps are still using SHA-1.

Over the course of 2016, Microsoft, Google and other browser vendors will start phasing out support for SHA-1 security certificates, with an expected end date of January 1, 2017. Starting then, you’ll get a warning notice that the webpage is unavailable due to security concerns.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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