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SSL Expiry Check

This subsystem will check your SSL Certificate expiry date and send alerts if your certificate is expired or nearing expiry.

The following conditions are checked and reported on:

  • expired certificates today or within the last 7 days (reported daily)
  • certificates expiring within the next 30 days (reported weekly)

We have a number of users (including larger clients!) who contact us in a panic when their SSL certificates expire. We've been working with one of our clients today with this problem, which prompted us to develop this new subsystem.

In addition to having your certificate expire, the Certificate Authority (CA) can move very slowly, even when just renewing a certificate. Their authorisation process can also change every few years (for example, at Thawte it's no longer possible to use ssladmin@ as the email address for automatic authorisation). All these delays add up to more downtime for your SSL security, which can mean your entire online shop is effectively offline. Over Christmas and New Years, there can be even more delays!

Certificate Authorities notify their customers when an SSL certificate is about to expire, so why do our customers let them expire?

These are the reasons we have discovered:

  • The CA only contacts you when your certificate expires, so they have out-of-date details (eg: old email address, old domain)
  • The notification has gone to the wrong person (eg: the old technical contact, or the admin assistant who ordered it)
  • The notification has been filtered as SPAM
  • The warnings are simply ignored because they come up to a year in advance, and keep coming
  • The warnings are ignored because the customer is unsure if the company contacting them is actually their CA

As a result, your SSL certificate can expire suddenly without warning, and the first you hear about it is when you visit your own website and see a warning, or worse yet, when you find out from one of your users.

SSL Certificate Checks are a new feature at metawerx, to ensure your website remains stable and reliable. They are sent to the Technical and Billing Contacts on your account.

If your SSL certificate has issues, it reduces the trust that users have in your website or application, so hopefully we can save you some stress and embarrassment!

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