Self-signed certificate definition
A self-signed certificate is a digital document created and signed by the same entity it identifies, rather than being verified by a trusted third party. It lacks the reliability of certificates issued by recognized authorities. That can result in browser warnings about potential security hazards.
Self-signed certificate use cases
- Local testing and development environments. Self-signed certificates are often used in local testing and development environments where setting up a trusted certificate authority may not be necessary.
- Internal network communications. In closed internal networks, such as within an organization or on a private intranet, self-signed certificates can be employed to establish encrypted connections between servers, devices, and applications.
- Non-production staging environments. These environments used for testing and quality assurance before deploying to production may utilize self-signed certificates. Since these environments are not public, using self-signed certificates is a cost-effective way to secure communications.
- Temporary SSL/TLS encryption. Self-signed certificates can be used as a temporary measure when waiting for a valid certificate from a trusted authority.
- IoT (Internet of Things) devices and embedded systems. In IoT deployments and scenarios involving embedded systems, self-signed certificates can be used to secure communication between devices and gateways.