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What Is The Difference Between HTTP And HTTPS?

For all those users who use SMS services via an integration with our gateway,  the difference between HTTP and HTTPS is a matter of substantial importance. Many of you are probably already perfectly aware of the difference between using one protocol or another. Furthermore, most users integrated via API already use our REST APIs. 

However, it is possible that some users, especially if they interfaced their systems with several years ago, have still never taken steps to update their integration to the new and more secure protocol. Furthermore, knowing the difference between HTTP and HTTPS is important more generally. The use of these two protocols is so widespread throughout the web that it is still advisable for anyone who surfs the internet to know which of the two protocols is best to prefer and why.

What Is HTTP?

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is a communication protocol between different systems widely used for client-server communication. For example, to make two different pieces of software communicate with each other (your management system and the gateway) or for the transfer of web pages on the internet, i.e., while surfing the net through the most common browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and similar). 

Until recently, the HTTP protocol was widely used in many fields, but in recent times, problems have arisen related to the security issue in data transmission. In fact, with the HTTP protocol, communications occur “in the clear” without any precautions that can guarantee the parties’ identity or the data’s confidentiality. The growing sensitivity regarding IT and data security gave impetus to the development of a “new” type of protocol that would guarantee the safety and integrity of communications and data. 

The main objective was to avoid the classic “man-in-the-middle” situation, i.e., someone who manages to insert himself along the path traveled by the data and take possession of the transmitted information, thus obtaining access to other people’s accounts and sensitive information and spreading malware or malicious advertising.

The Introduction Of The HTTP Protocol

We called it “new” in quotes because, upon closer inspection, HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is not considered a new type of protocol. It essentially involves the use of HTTP through an encrypted connection certified by Transport Layer Security (TLS), which guarantees:

  1. authentication of the visited site
  2. the confidentiality of personal data
  3. the integrity and confidentiality of the data

Therefore, with the transmission method guaranteed by HTTPS, only the client and the server can know the content of a communication since the exchange on the network is encrypted and guaranteed by encryption certificates, such as TLS.

The Risks: Data Breach And Privacy Violations

In today’s landscape, and given the growing number of attacks being launched, the only way to protect yourself from digital threats is to use the most secure services possible. Exchanging encrypted communications, such as HTTPS, is necessary for any defensive strategy. 

The risk of using an unencrypted protocol is precisely that of having the content of the communication stolen, with the possibility that the latter will be disclosed to third parties. Indeed, in addition to intercepting communication, the cybercriminal could also manipulate and steal data and information and impersonate the sender or recipient.

How To Protect Yourself

It has always been attentive and carefully protects its customers’ data. We rigorously apply the provisions of the GDPR. We are constantly committed to guaranteeing IT security and privacy protection in a substantial and not just formal manner (privacy by design) through adequate means, such as using the HTTPS protocol for sending communications through our API. 

This is why we strongly advise all our customers to work to secure their IT systems by updating their integration systems as soon as possible and switching to the HTTPS protocol. Using the new REST APIs and the HTTP protocol will guarantee you and your customers the highest level of data protection and security, thus ensuring that you comply with the GDPR.

Also Read: SMED, MES,& APS: The Right Combination To Reduce Setup

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