SSL/TLS Certificates for Education Establishments
OV SSL Certificates from SWGfL cost £35* for one 2 year license and are only available for education establishments (e.g. schools, MATs and colleges).
* Please note that should five or more Subject Alternative Names (SANs) be required in a certificate there will be an additional cost of £35 to complete your request (i.e. one SSL certificate with five or more SANs will be £70).
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL certificates are an essential part of the security of a school website. SSL stands for ‘Secure Sockets Layer’ and an SSL certificate is a small data file that allows a secure connection between a web server and a browser.
When installed, a certificate authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts data providing a level of trust and security for the website user.
If a certificate is active on a website there is a padlock symbol in the URL bar, and clicking this provides more information about the certificate’s status.
It helps users know your website is ‘safe’ to use, particularly if they need to provide any personal information such as passwords or payment details.
What is an OV SSL Certificate?
‘OV’ stands for Organisation Validated.
The most common type of SSL Certificate is 'DV', which stands for Domain Validated. Domain Validated certificates only require verification of the domain name to be used.
OV SSL Certificates go through an additional vetting process. To produce the certificate the Certificate Authority (QuoVadis) verifies not only the school’s right to use the domain the certificate has been requested for (as with DV) but also the actual organisation, and lists the school's name in the certificate.
OV certificates provide enhanced trust and authenticity for the website accessed.
How do I order an SSL Certificate?
Through our partnership with Jisc, who run the Janet network, we are pleased to be able to provide SSL and TLS certificates. SWGfL and Jisc use the QuoVadis Certificate Authority to produce an ‘Organisation Validated’ (OV) certificate for 2 year durations.
To purchase a certificate we need some details from you to process an order which can be found in the "SSL Certificate Order Process". This order is then handled by a member of the SWGfL Certificates Team in partnership with Jisc.
SSL Certificate Order Process
1. Generate a CSR File
You'll need to create a .CSR file from the server where the certificate is to be installed
The public key needs to be 2048 bits
The .CSR can have no local addresses included, only fully qualified domain names
Multiple alternative names can be created for domain names hosted on the same server. These just need to be included when the CSR file is generated.
Common Name (CN)
Subject Alternative Names (SANs)
You should also tell us at this stage how long you’d like the certificate(s) to be valid for (up to two years), and the platform you’d like the certificate(s) for (e.g. IIS 7
2. Send us the CSR File
Email the CSR file and Purchase Order to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Receive Verification Email
A first stage verification e-mail will then be sent to any e-mail address you specify (usually the requester’s) at your school containing a hyperlink to click.
4. Validate the Domain
You will then be required to further validate the domain(s) using Domain Control Validation (DCV). The number of verification e-mails sent depends on the number of domains included on the certificate. verification e-mails will be sent to one of the following e-mail addresses of your choice
5. Install Certificate
Once verified we generate the certificate and send it to you. This can take up to 48 hours to process. You can then install the certificate.
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