- Let’s Encrypt has left beta testing and will continue its aggressive push to encrypt 100% of the internet, according to an announcement Tuesday from the certificate authority.
- The free secure certificate program left beta after four months, during which it issued more than 1.5 million HTTPS certificates to approximately three million websites around the world.
- Four new sponsors now back the project, including Gemalto, HP Enterprise, Fastly and Duda.
Let's Encrypt ultimately wants to provide free security certificates to every webmaster online, the company said. Run by the Internet Security Research Group, and backed by several large technology companies, including Cisco and Facebook, the project said in March that it had distributed one million digital Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificates for free in just three months.
TLS certificates scramble data as it's sent across the Internet and on websites. But until now, the cost of TLS certificates proved prohibitive for small businesses and individuals.
The organization plans to continue its practice of offering free TLS certifications. More companies are moving to adopt SSL/TLS, but the practice still goes under-used. If a site does have the certificates, a padlock will appear in the URL bar.
Google is even grading itself on encryption and said in March that 75% of requests to its servers use encrypted connections. The secure web connections enabled by HTTPS can foil attempts to intercept information and help ensure the integrity of information sent and received between parties.