Interview with Megan Rehbock, LAWtrust certificate service manager (South Africa)

What innovative services does your company offer to African countries?

With an increased growth in ecommerce and mobile technology, the internet has enabled a market with which businesses can transact beyond borders with no barriers to entry or time zone delays and differences.

The customer experience is constantly being modified with a drive towards digital transformation and mobile. Businesses need to ensure that they provide leading edge services through online initiatives to remain competitive in a market with no boundaries.

LAWtrust enables your business to improve innovation and increase its business reach through enabling safe and secure online transactions within the digital world. SSL certificates ensure website safety through strong identification methods as well as encryption standards, and are represented by a key padlock symbol in the address bar of most used web browsers as well as HTTPS on secured sites.  SSL certificates go through rigorous verification processes such as organization and extended validation to put an end to phishing and online security threats. Strong verification provides website assurance and ensures that your business and brand are not compromised whilst online.  Encryption applied through SSL/TLS technology protects consumers private personal and online credential information.

What are the benefits for African companies and governments after implementation?

As the internet penetration in Africa increases, mainly due to mobile and smart-phones, more consumers have access to perform online transactions. Mobile banking as well as money transfers over borders and e-commerce are now becoming a reality in Africa.  None of these improvements would be possible without trusted connections secured with encryption technology- such as SSL Certificates.

SSL protection and trust is essential to increase customer’s confidence while transacting with businesses online. It also drives your business to its full online potential.  Popular search engines are pushing traffic to secured sites, meaning that businesses can take advantage of improved search engine results through implementing SSL on websites and online business platforms.

SSL certificates enable secure transactions across barriers and increase your ecommerce and business reach to transact with businesses in other countries, enabling business opportunities on a global scale.

Can you give an example of successful implementation of your innovation in Africa?

LAWtrust provides SSL certificates to over a 1000 business as well as the top 4 banks in South Africa. Successful implementation of our SSL certificates has enabled the businesses we secure to operate in a market with no boundaries.  In the banking sector, SSL certificates has made internet banking possible as well as ensured that banking customers remain safe and free from fraud when performing online payments and accessing bank accounts.

What are the costs to implement this technology?

The cost of implementing SSL technology far outweigh the potential risks such as theft to consumers personal credentials, credit card information, online fraud and business brand equity / reputation damage.

LAWtrust has a comprehensive SSL certificate offering, and pricing depends on clients budget as well the level of certificate assurance the business decides to implement.  Clients are urged that when opening a business online, sufficient security and assurance measures are put in place to protect their business and brand as well as consumers.

In what ways can your services help to fight corruption?

Corruption is born when there is no positive identification practices in place, meaning that transactions cannot be assured and no party can be held accountable for committed fraud.

SSL certificates, when issued in the correct way through audited verification standards (extended or organizational validated certificates), are the first optimal step towards combatting online fraud and corruption.  Positive identity of a website means that customers transacting with your business online can be assured that they are indeed engaging with the correct and intended business.

Implementing always-on SSL helps increases assurance and means that all pages of your website are secured and protected.  As a business you can ensure that your customers are kept secure from the start to the end of their visit to your site and that no session is exposed to the risk of high-jacking, man-in-the-middle attacks or phishing attacks.

What are the challenges your company has faced in African countries?

Although there are many providers of SSL certificates in the market, LAWtrust constantly tries to reinforce the message that only high assurance SSL certificates, which go through vigorous verification methods should be used to ensure positive identity of your website. These certificates follow either extended or organizational validation methods which are governed by international audit standards set by the CA Browser forum. Certificates which are issued with no or limited verification standards (domain validated or self-signed), can be illegitimately issued, increasing the risk of compromisation and exposing your website to possible attack.

What are the prospects?

Anyone with a mobile smart phone has access to the internet.  The opportunities for businesses to transact online are endless and are not restricted by any boundaries. Businesses can sell across borders with ease in real time at the click of a few buttons. With the implementation of SSL certificate technology, businesses are protected at all times whilst online, enabling businesses to create trusted online relationships with its consumers and engaging prospects.

LAWtrust is a specialist security solutions provider that builds trust in information systems through establishing authenticity, accountability and privacy in data messages. It focusses on applying digital signatures and positive identity to business processes, saving time, lowering costs and reducing risk for businesses.

LAWtrust operates a high security, high availability, WebTrust certified Trust Centre, is included in both the Adobe and Microsoft Trust Lists as a Trusted Root Certificate Authority and was the first accredited authentication service provider under the ECT Act to provide Advanced Electronic Signatures.

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