Let’s Encrypt enters public beta today, which means anyone can now sign-up for free digital certificates. Let’s Encrypt is a new trusted Certificate Authority (CA) that aims to bring down the costs of configuring secure servers in order to increase overall deployment of TLS.
This initiative offers more than just free certificates though, as it also supports automation to make the business of obtaining and managing certificates significantly less complex, whilst encouraging more frequent (90 day) renewal to limit damage from key compromise and mis-issuance. This is achieved through the Automated Certificate Management Environment (ACME) which offers a standards-based REST API allowing the agent software to authenticate that a server controls a domain, request a certificate, and then install it on a server without human intervention.
Over 26,000 certificates were issued during the closed beta trial, so the system has already been extensively tested in the wild. The CA is supported by fourteen sponsoring organisations with an interest in promoting encryption as the norm.
For more information on TLS, please do look at our Start Here page to understand how you can get started transitioning your networks, devices and applications!