This past weekend, Google Gmail users faced downtime due to an issue with SSL security certificates.
Gmail users were shown a large amount of error messages and safety warnings as Google’s SSL certificate for the service expired without being renewed.
What is a SSL Certificates?
A SSL Certificates is a file that digitally binds a cryptographic key to an organizations. When the SSL certificate is installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol (over port 443) and allows secure connections. SSL certificates are used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins and now even social media sites.
What was the Gmail SSL certificate issue?
On April 4th, when Gmail users tried to send email, it would result in an error. Google has admitted that the problem affected a majority of Gmail users and that the issue was caused by “smtp.gmail.com” security certificate appearing as invalid.
The issue was caused by a simple mistake. Google had forgotten to renew the security certificate for Gmail. The error primarily affected people using Gmail in email client programs and apps such as Microsoft Outlook, OS X Mail or Windows Live Mail, alongside Google’s own Gmail app.
How does the Gmail SSL certificate issue affect your business?
Many companies do not realize it but they each have their own SSL security certificates for multiple services including if you have an internal email server. It is very important that such certificates get renewed in a timely manner to reduce downtime or other IT technical issues.