SOURCE: The Linux Foundation

April 12, 2016 12:00 ET

Let's Encrypt Leaves Beta

New and Renewing Sponsors Back Let's Encrypt Technology and Its Mission to Encrypt 100 Percent of the Web

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - April 12, 2016) - Let's Encrypt, a free, automated and open Certificate Authority, today announced four new sponsors, several sponsorship renewals and that the technology is leaving beta. Launched in September 2015, Let's Encrypt, which has issued over 1.7 million certificates for approximately 3.8 million websites, is pushing the Web much closer to 100 percent encryption to ensure private personal and business information cannot be intercepted, manipulated or stolen by attackers.

In addition, Gemalto is joining as a new Gold sponsor, and HP Enterprise, Fastly, Duda, and ReliableSite.net are joining as Silver sponsors. Current members Akamai and Cisco, which have supported Let's Encrypt from the beginning, are renewing as Platinum sponsorship for the project. This renewal is a three-year commitment from both companies. 

A recent transparency report from Google found that many top websites still do not use HTTPS, which makes for a very vulnerable Web. Even though HTTPS is a basic security measure for web traffic, encryption has historically been out of reach to many businesses and individuals due to cost and complexity. Let's Encrypt eliminates these two barriers by offering individuals and companies the ability to install free certificates in seconds.

"We were delighted that we've been able to grow so quickly during our first four months of general availability. We now have the experience and confidence to take the project out of beta," said Josh Aas, Internet Security Research Group executive director. "We will continue to work on making the Web a safer place through free encryption. An increasingly broad set of industry stakeholders recognize how important it is to secure the Web through Let's Encrypt. However, we still have a long way to go to deliver on our goal to encrypt 100 percent of all web sites."

Let's Encrypt certificates are issued and managed via an entirely automated system in order to make the experience as simple and scalable as possible. Ease of use and scalability are essential if the entire Web is to be encrypted. Let's Encrypt certificates are trusted by all major browsers due to cross-signatures from IdenTrust.

More information about Let's Encrypt's progress can be found in this blog post.

The Let's Encrypt project has gained tremendous operational experience and has worked closely with leading web service and hosting providers to ease the certification process. It has become extremely popular across the board, from small companies who found it cost prohibitive to update their sites to HTTPS to major hosting providers and content management solution providers that are focused on giving their users the most up-to-date security.

Major Sponsors Invest in Let's Encrypt and Secure Internet Connections

"At Mozilla, we believe that security needs to be a fundamental part of the Web. That's why we helped to create Let's Encrypt," said David Bryant, Vice President of Platform Engineering, Interim CTO at Mozilla. "We're pleased to see Let's Encrypt becoming a strong, independent operation, and we look forward to their help in moving the web toward 100% encryption."

"We have been a part of Let's Encrypt from the very beginning and are excited to see the tremendous growth of this certificate authority and quick uptake in the market," said David Ward, CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect at Cisco Systems. "It is imperative that HTTPS becomes ubiquitous, and the cost and ease of Let's Encrypt makes it so we are well on our way in getting there."

"From the very beginning, Akamai has been committed to supporting Let's Encrypt's vision of enabling greater use of SSL/TLS across the internet," said Stephen Ludin, Chief Architect at Akamai Technologies. "This milestone is confirmation of Let's Encrypt's ability to execute on that vision and have a tremendous impact to the Internet ecosystem."

"We're very proud to be a Gold Sponsor for Let's Encrypt which leverages our industry-leading hardware security modules to protect their certificate authority system," said Todd Moore, Vice President of Encryption Product Management at Gemalto. "Encryption by default is critical to privacy and security, and by working with Let's Encrypt Gemalto is helping to deliver trust for the digital services that billions of people use every day."

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About Let's Encrypt 

Let's Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority brought to you by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). As the non-profit entity behind Let's Encrypt, ISRG is a project at The Linux Foundation.

Backed by industry leaders and open to all, Let's Encrypt's mission is to encrypt the Web. Major sponsors include Akamai, Cisco, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Facebook, Google Chrome, Internet Society (ISOC), OVH.com and many others. A growing community provides subscriber support and software development.

To get involved go here: https://letsencrypt.org/getinvolved/. To become a corporate sponsor contact sponsor@letsencrypt.org.

Linux Foundation projects harness the power of collaborative development to fuel innovation across industries and ecosystems. www.linuxfoundation.org.

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