What Do Certificate Authorities Do?
A certificate authority issues a number of certificates that certify a secure environment for websites, code, documents, objects, email, or any other form of electronic communication or programming. The most common product that a small business would be familiar with is an SSL certificate, which GlobalSign defines as "".
SSL stands for "Secure Sockets Layer" and TSL stands for "Transport Layer Security." Both are communications protocols for secure transmission of information over the Internet, and are most commonly used for transmission of order, payment, and identity information. A compromise of the underlying certificate authority could mean that all of this information is also compromised. This is why GlobalSign is taking the situation very seriously and not issuing new certificates until the situation is thoroughly investigated.
A seal or sign that a website is protected by such a certificate usually goes hand-in-hand with the purchase of a certificate product. In their promotional video below, GlobalSign talks about their Website Passport and reasons why businesses should have this kind of protection on their websites.
Should I Consider a Certificate for My Website?