SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer.
SSL is a communications protocol intended to secure a point-to-point connection in two ways:
- Confirm that the connection is to the intended entity.
- Encrypt the data being exchanged to prevent eavesdropping.
While the term SSL is still used to refer to secure connections, the underlying protocol used is most commonly a newer replacement protocol: TLS. TLS and SSL are not interoperable, but TLS does have the ability to downgrade, if needed, to the older, slightly less secure SSL protocol.