​New Chrome tools help developers enable HTTPS

Google latest effort to boost the number of website deployed as HTTPS is a new “security panel” in Chrome to help developers pinpoint anything preventing them from “green padlock” status in the browser.

In the aftermath of Edward Snowden’s leaks about government surveillance, Google’s Chrome Security team proposed marking all HTTP websites as “affirmatively non-secure”. The proposal made some sense, since HTTP sites do nothing to defeat surveillance attacks, yet are the only occasion when all browsers are guaranteed not to warn users that there is no security.

HTTPS sites on the other hand do encrypt connections to users and have had a digital certificate for the site validated by a Certificate Authority. Yet deploying HTTPS correctly can be challenging. For example, Chrome marks an HTTPS site with mixed content — meaning it has secure and non-secure resources — with a yellow triangle on a padlock, which could be more alarming to users than no warning at all.

Chrome doesn’t yet mark HTTP sites as non-secure, but over the coming days Google will be rolling out a new set of tool for developers in Chrome 48, called “security panel”, that should help them iron out any problems standing in the way of a green padlock symbol.

Currently, the only tool available for developers to debug their insecure connection is the connection tab available to general users when they click on the lock icon next the URL. According to Google, the information available in the tab has been too complicated for most users and too basic for most developers. Also, it hasn’t been clear what caused the downgrade from a green padlock.

The panel will offer developers an overview of common problems relating to the digital certificate, the connection and subresources. These include whether the site has mixed content, whether it using a trusted and valid server certificate, and whether a connection is using an adequately secure protocol, key change and cipher suite.

The new tool will also offer developers a filtered view of the Network Panel to help identify exactly where mixed content is coming from.

Security panel is Google’s latest effort to support its HTTPS everywhere campaign. It began using HTTPS as a ranking signal in search in 2014 and in December tweaked its indexing system to crawl for the HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages and if the content matches but one is using HTTPS, it will elect the page using the more secure protocol.

Read more: The week in security: CSO confidence declining; endpoint security in “sorry state”

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags secure protocolLiam TungHTTPSCSO Australiachrome

More about Google

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Liam Tung

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place