Is an SMTP TLS certificate the same as an FTP SSL certificate?

Are all security transportation-level certificates (TLSes) the same, or are there different certificates for different protocols? In this expert response, Randall Gamby discusses SMTP and FTP certificates.

Are certificates different for different services, such as SMTP, FTP, etc.? Or is it acceptable for SMTP and FTP services on one server to have only one certificate?
I'm assuming you're talking about transportation-level certificates (TLS, formally known as SSL) for these services. The good news is, yes, there are request for comments (RFC) standards issued by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for using TLS for many different services: RFC 4217 for an FTP SSL certificate, RFC 3207 for an SMTP TLS certificate, RFC 2712 for Kerberos, RFC 2595 for IMAP, POP3, ACAP and others.

By buying products that support TLS as a transport, you only need to establish a single certificate for any of

your applications. Assuming they're on an individual server, like a DMZ, Internet-facing portal, one certificate would be acceptable.

This was first published in April 2010

Dig deeper on Network Protocols and Security



Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.



Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: