server certificate

Definition of server certificate in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is a Server Certificate?

A digital certificate obtained for a server application such as Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) that the server can use to digitally sign data that it transmits. The server certificate contains the server’s identification information and public key. The client (a Web browser, for example) that communicates with the server validates the identity of the server using the CA certificate of the certificate authority (CA) issuing digital certificates for the enterprise.


Use server certificates when it is important for clients to validate the identity of your servers - for example, when you are running an online store built around a Web server and using the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol. You must obtain your server certificate from a public, third-party certificate authority that is already recognized by the client, such as VeriSign, Inc., or have the client first install the CA certificate of your own CA server, such as Microsoft Certificate Server.

See also