Security Solutions Might Cause Performance Problems

Security is loved by all and it is one factor that provides peace of mind to both the website owner and their visitor. This is a very simple fact when we check into some website as soon as that green color key is seen, it make us feel that we are at secure place. But, every security measure is not actually that helpful and they affect the performance to great extent. Some key factors affecting computer performance are listed here in this article along with the solutions.

Transport layer security (TSL)/Secure socket Layer(SSL)


Security can work as an obstacle for performance and this TLS/SSL is one of those main areas to mention. These are the protocols which actually encrypt information over internet to ensure high level of security. And when you see https in any website as the URL prefix, that indicate the website uses TLS/SSL. This Https make use of handshake to create a connection between the server and browser and the problem is this handshake can be very slow. Also, minimum 4 TCP roundtrips are required for opening a single SSL connection between the server and client. Now even though the amount of data transfer for handshake is not very huge but when it comes to small requests, it creates issue.

But first ensure that this issue hurt your web performance and then go ahed to take the required steps. To check that,

  • Make use of JMeter or Visual studio which compares the web performance between Http and https server.
  • Next run webpagetest in your secure pages and notice the purple bars in the chart. There should not be too many purple bars, too long purple bars because this indicates the SSL page negotiation.


  • Use dedicated hardware or other device for handling SSL- The best idea is to mitigating the performance issue by offloading SSL processing to other devices such as firewall, load balancer while you can also use some hardware for this purpose. These hardware sometimes are useful to speed up the SSL handshake and encryption as well.
  • Refrain from using SSL content on pages which do not require it- Unnecessary uses of the secure tag is nothing but affecting the performance. The reason is actually developers include default tag in the template which is added to every page SSL and Non-SSL by default. So, what you should do is trying using the SSL version only on secure pages while rest of the pages can be kept with non-SSL version.

Desktop antivirus software


Antivirus is used for the sake of privacy of our machine but this too can act as an obstacle as this is one of the factors affecting computer performance to some extent. The job of antivirus software is to eliminate all kind of virus, spyware, malware and adware by scanning all the incoming files from browser. As a result any file is being stopped for scanning before they get downloaded. Now the issue is we can’t actually measure the real performance impact of the antivirus software.

Antivirus can also have bad impact on some practice like compression and there is instance of happening so. Compression is done to make the file shorter which enhances the speed. But if practice such as compression in the browser is affected by antivirus it will no doubt have great impact on the performance.


As a solution what you can do is check the server log and check if any browser which is having the compression feature is being shown without the Accept encoding header which will indicate that you have an issue and then you may take further steps according to that.

Browser extension


Google’s moto is secure the world, even though this is a great goal but this can’t be followed in every case as sometimes security greatly hit the performance and this is not wanted by any of us. Especially if you are a site owner, this is will be greatly understood by you. Numbers of plugins are available in the browser level that ensure security and privacy, while some of the plugins are used to block adware some are simply used to manage the password. So, using plugins in the browser level is really worth but you need to check before that they are not combating with the performance at all.

The browser’s extensions can have performance interference like slowing down the load times, preventing the page from working properly and more.


If you are a site owner, then you have nothing to do with what users are doing at the browser level to maintain high level of security. But you can always anticipate their activity. The best advice is to test drive the leading security extension and then measure the performance as a real user.

Security products


Another factors affecting computer performance is too many uses of security products such as firewalls, WAF/Web App Firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems, Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS) and more. The uses of these security products can’t be ignored at all which prevents any kind of attacks. Some of these products are used offline while some does the job online better. The offline products do not have any effect on performance but the online products do affect the performance to some level. Now the problem is you can’t actually measure the performance impact due to uses of these kinds of security products.


Now as a solution what you can do is talk to your vendor before going ahead to have the security products to employ. Also, know about its details such as how it will affect the performance and all. You can test the performance impact of the security products by your own as well by turning off and on the products.

So, these are the main security solutions that can impact the performance to some extent. However, security and privacy is preferred by all and you can obviously maintain security but ensure to do it right way so that performance is not hampered.

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