A Certificate Signing Request (CSR) is integral to obtaining an SSL/TLS certificate from a Certificate Authority. A CSR is a data file that contains vital information about the company or individual requesting the certificate.
Generating a CSR can seem intimidating if you’re new to SSL/TLS certificates. However, it is pretty straightforward. In this article, experts from Keyfactor (http://keyfactor.com/) will walk you through each step and provide tips on ensuring your CSR is generated correctly.
Step 1: Choose Your Server Environment
The first step is to select the server environment where your SSL Certificate will be installed. A server environment is a system setup that allows multiple users to access and share data, resources, and applications over a network. It can include hardware, software, and networking components that store, process, analyze, and manage data.
Organizations typically use server environments to host websites, databases, web services, and applications. Depending on the size of your organization, you may have one or more servers in place. Several popular choices include Apache, Microsoft IIS, and Nginx. You can also check with your hosting provider if you are unsure which option is right for you.
Step 2: Select Your Key Size
Once you’ve chosen your server environment, the next step is setting the key size used when generating your CSR. Key sizes determine the strength of the encryption used to secure your data and are a significant factor in determining how safe your website is. The options range from 512 bits to 2048, with 2048 being the most secure option available.
However, it’s important to note that not all servers can create larger key sizes. If your server supports it, you should always choose the highest available option to give your users the highest level of security.
Step 3: Generate a Private Key File
Before creating a CSR, you must first generate a private key file using OpenSSL software (available for free). This key will be used when creating and signing the certificate request. It should never be shared with anyone else as it could compromise the security of your website.
Step 4: Create Your CSR File
Once the private key has been generated, the next step is to create a corresponding CSR file using OpenSSL software. This step requires you to provide information such as company name, location (country), email address, and domain name before a certificate request can be created and signed using your private key file from Step 3.
Step 5: Submit Your CSR File
Once your CSR has been generated, it needs to be submitted by email or web form, depending on who issued your SSL Certificate (usually an authorized certificate authority like DigiCert or Symantec). This process usually takes only minutes. Once complete, you will receive an email confirmation containing your certificate request’s details and an expiration date for when it must be renewed or replaced by another.
Step 6: Receive Your Signed Certificate
After submitting your request and paying any applicable fees associated with obtaining or renewing an SSL Certificate (if necessary), you’ll receive an email confirming that your certificate has been signed by an authorized certificate issuer such as DigiCert or Symantec. At this point, all that’s left is to install it onto the web server, protecting any sensitive data transmitted between visitors’ browsers and your website’s server(s).
Step 7: Install Your Signed Certificate
The final step in generating a CSR is installing it on the web server where it was requested from in Step 1 above. Depending on which server environment was chosen in Step 1 (Apache/IIS/Nginx), different installation methods may apply, so consult documentation specifically for each platform before proceeding further with this last step!
Generating a CSR may seem complicated initially, but knowing what to do can help make the process easier than expected! With these simple steps outlined above, plus additional support from technical teams like Keyfactor’s (http://keyfactor.com/) experts—generating an accurate CSR can be quick and painless!