Table of Content

Key Management Interoperability Protocol

Cybersecurity Frameworks

What is an Extended Validation (EV) Certificate?

Extended Validation Certificate

An Extended Validation Certificate (EV Certificate) stands as a distinguished SSL/TLS Certificate, demanding robust efforts from Certificate Authorities (CAs) for validation. Verifying an Extended Validation SSL Certificate involves meticulous, globally standardised identity checks. These checks confirm the domain’s exclusive usage rights, validate its legal, operational, and physical existence, and verify the entity’s authorisation for certificate issuance. The resulting certificate encapsulates this verified identity information. 


When acquiring an EV certificate, CAs require domain owners to furnish supplementary documentation, including signed authorisation forms, subscriber agreements, and business validation materials. This stringent approach ensures that EV certificates uphold superior trust and security. The verification process encompasses the domain owner’s name, legal status, operational details, physical presence, and more. These facets are meticulously reviewed by a verification partner, culminating in a successful validation process. The outcome is a fully certified EV certificate, visually represented by the organisation’s name in the browser’s address bar. 

It’s important to note that EV certificates contrast other certificate types, such as Organization Validation (OV) and Domain Validation (DV) certificates. These certificates do not undergo the same comprehensive verification process. For instance, with DV certificates, domain ownership is established without demonstrating administrative control. Similarly, the verification process for OV certificates is less extensive, focusing primarily on the identity information of the website operator. 

The meticulous verification procedures associated with EV certificates contribute to a heightened level of authentication for SSL/TLS certificates. As a result, visitors to websites equipped with EV certificates can place a substantial degree of trust in the security and legitimacy of the site. 

Types of Extended Validation Certificates

EV certificates are of three types:

  • Single Domain EV Certificate

    These certificates are used to secure only one domain. These are ideal for small online stores and websites.

  • Multi-Domain EV Certificates

    These certificates are used to protect subdomains and multiple domains. These certificates can be used for complex websites.

  • Code Signing

    These certificates are used by developers to secure their products by digitally signing them. Learn more about code signing.

Validity Period of EV Certificates  

Like other SSL/TLS certificates, EV certificates have a validity period during which they are considered valid. This period is typically one or two years, after which the certificate needs to be renewed. 

Benefits of Extended Validation SSL Certificates

The primary idea behind extended validation SSL certificates is to provide a high level of trust and security than most regular SSL certificates. Because enterprise websites generally deal with highly protected client data, this makes them an excellent choice for protecting them. The following are some major advantages of using EV SSL certificates:

  • Assurance at a Higher Level

    EV SSL Certificates offer a high confidence level than Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates. Before a certificate is issued, EV verification requires the CA to confirm the organization’s legal identity, physical presence, and operational existence. Whereas DV Certificates have no identifying information in the organization name field, the end-user cannot trust the certificate to validate who is on the other end, even though they technically allow encrypted transaction. The process of EV certificate verification includes:

    • The user making the request has the legal right to use the domain.
    • The requestor has authorized their permission for the certificate to be issued.
    • The requestor’s physical existence and legal status.
    • Whether the entity identifies corresponds to official records.
  • Protect Against Phishing Attacks

    Scams on the internet have become more complex and well-coordinated, reducing consumer confidence, critical to online business. Hackers utilize a variety of methods to collect personal and sensitive information through phishing. Due to the strict validation standards for EV Certificates, a hacker would never be able to pass all of the checks, making fake EV Certificates extremely unlikely. In the following ways, the EV certificate counteracts these attacks:

    • The Extended Validation standards demand that the party requesting the certificate be thoroughly vetted. Because phishing sites, by their nature, involve identity theft, this vetting prohibits a criminal from obtaining a certificate in the spoofing target’s name.
    • When an EV certificate is active, the green bar indicator is prominent at the top of the browser. Having the EV certificate on the web page makes the faked page’s absence noticeable. Since phishing aims to replicate the real site as accurately as possible, providing this experience gap is a great way to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent sites.
    • If a phisher submitted an EV certificate by any chance, the green bar contains the company’s name. Because the phisher will not have a corporation with the same name and address as your favourite bank, merchant, brokerage, or other institution, the game will be obvious immediately away.
  • Fulfill Compliance Requirements

    EV SSL certificates are required or recommended by some standards, such as PCI DSS, etc. In addition, many regulations, including HIPAA and others, require that organizations take all reasonable precautions to protect PII, PHI, and other sensitive data from theft. Using EV SSL certificates is an excellent approach to indicate that you have taken all possible precautions to protect this information.

Cons of using Extended Validation SSL Certificates

The following are the disadvantages of using EV certificates:

  • They are more costly.
  • They are often valid for a short period.
  • The efforts and time required to complete the validation procedure.

You may decide not to use EV certificates if you have many websites published on the Internet. But still, it would be better if you considered them for sites like your online store.
EV certificates are very dependent on the user. Leaving your security in the hands of the user is not a good idea. Every time a user visits a site, we should not expect them to validate the identification of the organization owner and the domain manually and correctly. For Extended Validation certificates to be effective, some technical restrictions should be enforced without relying on the user.

What is the Purpose of an Extended Validation SSL Certificate?

Regardless of the benefits of using EV certificates, EV certificates are not for everyone. Organizations must evaluate the added value of these certificates. They are perfect for high-profile websites that are frequently targeted by phishing attacks, such as major shops, banks, financial institutions, or government bodies with public-facing websites. All services that require higher identity assurance and enhanced confidence can use EV SSL Certificates. For example, high-profile websites, such as bank sites, financial institutions, etc., can use EV SSL Certificates, which are frequently targeted for phishing attacks, for their public-facing websites. As well as any website that collects data, processes logins, or accepts online payments can benefit from displaying their verified brand identity.

Is it worth to invest in a more expensive Extended Validation SSL certificate?

An EV SSL Certificate costs more than an Organization Validation (OV) or Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificate because it is the most advanced and secure SSL Certificate available today. These SSL Certificates are slightly more expensive because they require a thorough verification by the CA, which takes time and resources. So, a question arises, is it worth spending on an EV SSL certificate? And the answer is:

If your company is developing and want to increase client confidence, it is worth investing in an EV SSL Certificate. While EV certificates are used for financial institutions and large organizations, they may be a viable option for a medium-sized business looking to boost client confidence and conversion rates.

What are the benefits of EV over DV(Domain Validation) certificates? 

Extended Validation (EV) and Domain Validated (DV) certificates are two different levels of SSL/TLS certificates used to secure websites and establish trust with users. EV certificates provide a higher level of assurance and security compared to DV certificates. Here are some benefits of using Extended Validation (EV) certificates over Domain Validated (DV) certificates:

  1. Enhanced Trust and Credibility

  2. EV certificates undergo a more rigorous validation process than DV certificates. With an EV certificate, the Certificate Authority (CA) verifies the requesting entity’s legal existence, physical location, and identity. It results in higher trust and credibility for users visiting the website. The organisation’s name is prominently displayed in the browser’s address bar, signalling to users that the website has been thoroughly authenticated.

  3. Visible Trust Indicators

  4. EV certificates trigger visible trust indicators in web browsers. When people visit a website secured with an EV certificate, the browser’s address bar turns green and displays the organisation’s name, indicating a highly secure and validated connection. This visual cue reassures users that they are interacting with a legitimate and trustworthy website.

  5. Mitigation of Phishing and Fraud

  6. EV certificates are particularly effective in mitigating phishing attacks. Since EV certificates require thorough identity verification, malicious actors are less likely to obtain EV certificates for fraudulent purposes. It makes it more difficult for attackers to create convincing phishing sites that imitate legitimate organisations.

  7. Higher Security Standards

  8. The validation process for EV certificates involves more stringent requirements, reducing the likelihood of an EV certificate being issued to entities with malicious intent. It helps maintain a higher standard of security and authenticity for websites using EV certificates.

  9. Protection Against Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

  10. While both EV and DV certificates provide encryption, the added visual verification of an EV certificate reduces the risk of users unknowingly connecting to malicious servers during man-in-the-middle attacks.

  11. Regulatory and Compliance Requirements

  12. Some industries and jurisdictions have specific regulatory requirements for securing online transactions and protecting user data. EV certificates can help organisations meet these compliance standards due to their higher level of authentication.

In 2016, Troy Hunt accurately highlighted that the efficacy of Extended Validation (EV) certificates relies on individuals’ and entities’ perceptions of their worth and proactive efforts to ensure security. Fast forward to a later period, and he is now considering that the era of relying solely on EV certificates is no longer as relevant. 

However, even in this evolving landscape, Encryption Consulting is a steadfast advocate for comprehensive security solutions. While the perception of EV certificates has shifted, their significance persists in certain contexts. Encryption Consulting recognises the multifaceted nature of certificate management and supports various certificates, including EV certificates. 

Yet, the true power lies in the convenience of automated certificate lifecycle management. Encryption Consulting not only acknowledges the diversity of certificate types but also provides the means to uncover, oversee, and automate all certificates across your organisation. Our advanced system facilitates the transition from a reactive approach to a proactive stance. Through comprehensive automated management of public key infrastructure (PKI) and certificates, organisations can confidently navigate the evolving landscape of cybersecurity. 

At Encryption Consulting, we remain committed to empowering organisations with the tools to enhance security, adapt to changing norms, and stay ahead of threats. Whether it’s EV certificates or other certificates, our solutions are designed to cater to your specific needs and ensure a secure digital future.

How can Encryption Consulting help?

Encryption Consulting provides a specialized Certificate Lifecycle management solution CertSecure Manager. From discovery and inventory to issuance, deployment, renewal, revocation, and reporting. CertSecure provides an all-encompassing solution. Intelligent report generation, alerting, automation, automatic deployment onto servers, and certificate enrollment add layers of sophistication, making it a versatile and intelligent asset.


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