SSL Stats for Secure Browsing in 2021

Posted by Darko Radić

In today’s online world, SSL technology is the de facto standard for encryption and authentication. As a result, an overwhelming number of websites use SSL and TLS certificates.

However, the situation in the SSL certificates market is constantly changing, so it’s essential to keep up with the trends. That’s why we prepared the most relevant statistics to describe the world of SSL certificates in 2021.

Top SSL Stats and Facts | Editor’s Choice

  • 56% of businesses fully encrypted their internet traffic in 2020.
  • 70% of malware campaigns in 2020 used some type of encryption.
  • More than 46 million websites use SSL by Default in 2021.
  • There are three primary types of SSL certificates.
  • 95% of websites on Google use HTTPS.
  • 99% of browsing time on Google Chrome is on HTTPS websites.
  • On average, mobile users click on a phishing URL six times per year.

Main Aspects of SSL and TLS ‒ Strengths and Weaknesses

Even though the relatively outdated Secure Socket Layer (SSL) still protects many domains, the advanced Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol is now the dominant technology. Of course, there’s a reason for its popularity, with ecommerce statistics revealing the massive importance of encrypted traffic.

In other words, the SSL mechanism uses a system of cryptographic keys to protect browsing sessions. SSL certificates are an affordable and convenient security measure, and they also affect the ranking in SERPs. On the other hand, SSL protocols don’t guarantee 100% safety.

Internet Security Statistics

To better understand the importance of SSL, we should first look at the bigger picture and analyze the most relevant internet security stats. After all, one of the primary SSL’s tasks is to prevent anyone from intercepting your session and tampering with data.

1. In 2019, security software revenue was $43.2 billion.

Even though security software includes various services and products, the overall market size is growing. Namely, the rising number of security breaches increases the need for efficient security software, driving the investments.

SSL providers are only one of many cogs in the wheel of the IT industry, but one should never underestimate their importance.

2. The global cybercrime costs could grow by 15% a year, amounting to $10.5 trillion per year in 2025.

In 2015, the overall cybercrime costs amounted to $3 trillion, but the damages could triple within 10 years. The issues include theft of financial or personal data, stolen money, fraud, hacked systems, reputational damage, etc.

As a result, encrypted internet traffic is a must-have, together with a host of other safety measures and protocols.

3. 2020 was the “worst year on record” regarding the number of data breaches.

By the end of Q2, 2020 was already breaking records regarding the number of data breaches. To be precise, the first three quarters had 2,953 reported data breaches, with a total number of 36 billion exposed records.

Thus, security software is not a luxury but a necessity, with data protection becoming more valuable each year.

Internet Privacy Statistics

SSL and HTTPS are all about protecting data exchange between two websites or a server and a page. Either way, SSL’s role is to confirm identity, authenticate a website, improve security, and protect the user’s privacy. Yet, this task is easier said than done, and here’s what the numbers reveal.

4. 20.33% of fraud cases reported in 2019 were identity thefts.

According to SSL stats for 2019, more than 3.2 million fraud cases were reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with identity theft being the most common type.

According to reports, 2019 also broke negative records by a wide margin. For instance, “only” around 160,000 identity theft cases were reported in 2015.

5. 85% of data breaches involve the human element.

SSL statistics reveal that most data breaches happen because of human error. Moreover, 36% of reported cases in 2021 involved phishing, which is an 11% increase compared to the previous year.

As expected, emails are the most common medium for phishing attacks, but fraudulent URLs and text messages are also in use.

6. 88% of organizations experienced spear-phishing attacks in 2019.

Following cybersecurity best practices is a must for protecting information and preventing data breaches. Recognizing suspicious emails is crucial for prevention, but organizations and users must also pay attention to URLs.

After all, SSL security facts show that almost 90% of organizations face phishing attacks and 86% experience BEC (business email compromise) attacks.

7. The number of identity thefts in the United States jumped to 1.4 million in 2020.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the US, so did the rate of identity theft. More precisely, the number of reported cases tripled between 2018 and 2020.

Weak security measures and outdated protocols were the most responsible, making SSL and HTTPS even more necessary.

Encryption Statistics

Encryption locks your data and prevents the hijacking of information, making encrypted browsing sessions a must-have in 2021 and beyond. Here’s what the stats say about encryption and SSL in the modern web industry.

8. 56% of businesses fully encrypted their internet traffic in 2020.

In 2020, more than half of companies and businesses worldwide fully encrypted their online communication. On the other hand, the same study revealed that 27% of enterprises only partially encrypted their online communication.

9. Approximately 3.8 million encrypted threats happened in 2020.

Encryption statistics also emphasize the importance of SSL certificates and secure browsing.
Namely, encryption threats skyrocketed during 2020, fueled by remote work, cryptocurrency hype, and cloud-based services. For instance, there were more than 80 million crypto-jacking attacks in 2020.

10. 70% of malware campaigns in 2020 used some type of encryption.

Since encryption and authentication are the base of the SSL mechanism, it’s important to mention that most malware attacks deploy some form of encryption.

Likewise, the same study showed that the IT security market could grow at an 8.5% rate to reach $170.4 billion by 2022.

SSL Certificate Statistics

SSL certificates are now a common practice, but we are not yet at 100% coverage. Nonetheless, the stats show continuous growth, together with the rise in the number of providers of SSL.

11. More than 46 million websites use SSL by Default in 2021.

The most recent data shows that 46,703,423 live websites use SSL by Default. As expected, the United States has the most websites—around 22.2 million.

In general, the use of SSL certificates continues to grow, as the latest SSL traffic statistics reveal. After all, SSL remains one of the search engine ranking factors, so it’s vital for SEO.

12. 75% of CIOs worry about security risks associated with the use of SSL/TLS keys and certificates.

Three in four chief information officers admit being concerned about using machine identities. In addition, around two-thirds of respondents (65%) are concerned with the use of expired or compromised SSL certificates.

Machine identities identify and authenticate businesses in the online world. Yet, many CIOs are reluctant to rely on SSL/TLS entirely.

top ssl security concerns

13. 91% of CIOs have complete visibility of TLS certificates within their infrastructure.

When it comes to the TLS version, usage statistics show that complex IT infrastructures often have more than 10,000 certificates. Even so, 79% of CIOs know precisely how many keys they have.
Moreover, nine out of ten CIOs have complete visibility of all the certificates in the infrastructure. Yet, other studies show that respondents might have overestimated their certificate usage awareness.

14. There are three primary types of SSL certificates.

The number of CAs (certificate authorities) is almost impossible to determine, and it can be challenging to find the best SSL certificate out there. Still, they all provide one or all of the following types: Domain Validated (DV), Organization Validation (OV), and Extended Validation (EV).

Each type offers a unique encryption level, and they cover different numbers of identities. As a result, the prices vary between the models, with EV being the most expensive.

15. The modern SSL market comprises 49 types of technologies.

The SSL certificates industry attracts investments worldwide, and the latest stats about SSL reveal that more than 35 CAs (certificate authorities) produce SSL certificates technologies.

In addition, the same study by Datanyze shows that 8.9 million businesses use SSL certificates. The most prominent company is Sectigo, with a 38.36% market share and 3,452,366 domains.

16. Let’s Encrypt has around 260 million fully qualified active domains.

In recent years, Let’s Encrypt has become the dominant force on the SSL market. Moreover, the Let’s Encrypt market share is over 50%.

Since SSL certificates are the de facto standard in the modern IT world, Let’s Encrypt meets the demand by issuing more than two million keys per day. Furthermore, since the service is free and automated, it’s not surprising to see it at the top of the SSL/TLS industry.

17. Cheaper SSL options cost between $50 and $200 annually.

Like in any other area of life, most website owners look for the most affordable SSL packages. According to the latest SSL people purchasing stats, Comodo and GoDaddy offer highly competitive pricing, making them attractive options.

Of course, free packages are by far the most popular, explaining the enormous popularity of Let’s Encrypt. Nevertheless, paid plans often provide improved protection and more advanced cryptographic keys.

18. Many regard Comodo SSL as the best provider in 2021.

According to TechRadar’s ranking, Comodo SSL is at the top of the list of the top 10 SSL certificates providers for 2021. The primary features of this service are affordable pricing and top-notch customer support.

The competition is not far behind, with DigiCert and Entrust Datacard taking second and third spots on the list. Surprisingly, TechRadar put Thawte in the tenth position, even though this SSL giant issued more than a billion certificates in more than 200 countries.

HTTPS Usage Statistics

Since its introduction, HTTPS has kept on spreading like wildfire. Backed by Google and other big names in the industry, the protocol grew into the standard protocol for browsing the web. However, HTTPS is not yet the official ruler of the internet world, and here’s what the numbers say.

19. 95% of websites on Google use HTTPS.

If we closely analyze Google HTTPS statistics, we can see that the IT giant takes security seriously. The push for 100% encryption is still in full swing. As a result, almost all websites you see in SERPs come with the green padlock. So whether you search via Bing or Google, encrypted websites run the show.
For a while now, Google has been loud and clear about its intention to replace HTTP websites with HTTPS.

20. 99% of browsing time on Google Chrome is on HTTPS websites.

Google Chrome and SSL go hand in hand, and nowadays, almost every page opened via Chrome uses HTTPS by default.

Other platforms and systems have similar percentages, with Windows being at 97% and Android at 95%. Unfortunately, Linux is still lagging in HTTPS adoption, and the current rate is only 87%.

21. 54.4% of websites support the HTTP/2 protocol.

In a study conducted on around 150,000 SSL- and TLS-covered websites, SSL Labs learned that around half of the sites support the binary format introduced in 2015.

Even so, websites that don’t use HTTPS/2 still provide a secure connection through the standardized Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS).

22. There was a 167% increase in HTTPS websites hosting malicious content between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019.

URL-based attacks are two times more frequent with email threats than attachment-based attacks, and even HTTPS URLs are not 100% safe.
In the last two or three years, the number of URLs hosting malicious elements has skyrocketed. Yet, ironically, the green padlock provided a sense of false security, and users did not question the nature of those websites.

23. On average, mobile users click on a phishing URL six times per year.

Despite the HTTPS encryption strength, SSL-enabled websites are not bulletproof. Moreover, the rate of phishing URLs on mobile devices has increased dramatically since 2011, up to 85%.

To be precise, studies reveal that 56% of clicks on phishing URLs happened despite the existing layers of security. Moreover, given that more than two-thirds of emails are opened on mobile, it’s clear that mobile browsing urgently needs security improvements.

SSL Statistics | The Takeaway

As we’ve mentioned, SSL has already taken over the web browsing world. It seems inevitable that all websites will eventually convert to HTTPS unless some new technology appears in years to come. Encrypted traffic is not only secure, but it also helps with ranking in SERPs. For that reason, marketers and SEO specialists should add SSL to their list of SEO tools to maximize ranking potential.

Our selection of SSL stats reveals that users still face many malicious attacks despite all efforts to stay safe online. That’s why it’s crucial to continue with HTTPS adoption and be on the alert for various threats. Yet, despite its name, Secure Socket Layer can not guarantee 100% safety. Unfortunately, many internet users ignore this and throw caution out of the window as soon as they see the green padlock in the upper left corner of their browser.

Frequently Asked Questions | FAQ

How secure is HTTPS?

The little green lock in the left corner of your browser signifies a site with HTTPS technology, and you’ll find this icon when visiting most modern websites. However, HTTPS is only one of the jigsaw pieces related to cybersecurity, and it doesn’t guarantee that you landed on a secure web page.

On the other hand, the lack of the HTTPS protocol is a massive red flag, and most browsers will warn users when trying to visit such websites. So, even though HTTPS sites are not necessarily secure, those without the green lock are definitely not secure.

What’s the difference between site stats with and without SSL?

SSL, or the Secure Socket Layer, is a mechanism that provides encryption and authentication for secure browsing. As such, SSL plays the role of a sentinel and safeguards your private data by blocking communication with unauthorized servers and websites.

While it’s impossible to determine the actual number of sites with and without SSL, stats show that more than 95% of websites indexed by Google come with the certificate. As a rule of thumb, only malicious websites don’t use HTTPS in 2021.

What percentage of websites use SSL?

Secure Socket Layer technology dominates the online world, but not all websites display the green padlock in the address bar. According to the latest reports, around 95% of websites run the HTTPS protocol, with more than half running the advanced HTTPS/2 version.

Most countries in the world boast over 90% encryption of website traffic, and most businesses use SSL certificates. Of course, the number varies across platforms, but it’s clear that SSL and HTTPS have taken over the web.

How much does an SSL certificate cost?

Arguably, SSL would have never spread so fast had it not been for CA’s free packages. Cost-free encryption might not offer the full range of protective features, but it can help your site rank in SERP and encrypt sessions.

On the other hand, paid SSL certificates can provide advanced protection in an indecipherable format. The prices vary from one CA to another, but the most common packages range between $50 and $200 a year.

How many websites use HTTPS in 2021?

Google’s policies regarding HTTPS are transparent, and this IT juggernaut strives to make the virtual world as secure as possible. That’s why 99% of browsing time on Google Chrome happens on HTTPS websites. The situation is similar whether you browse on mobile or desktop.

Furthermore, experts agree that growth trends will continue in years to come, resulting in complete web coverage. For instance, Google’s reports and SSL stats show that more than 95% of indexed websites use Hypertext Transfer Protocol in 2021.


Sources: AARP, Built With, Cyber Risk Analytics, Cybersecurity Ventures, Datanyze, Federal Trade Commission, Fire Eye, Gartner, GlobalSign, Google, Let’s Encrypt, Lifewire, Proofpoint, Security Boulevard, Security Week, Sonic Wall, SSL Labs, Statista, Statista, TechRadar, Verizon

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