The Sun Java System Web Server 6.1 supports the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols for encrypted communication. SSL and TLS are application independent, and higher level protocols can be layered transparently on them.
SSL and TLS protocols support a variety of ciphers used to authenticate the server and client to each other, transmit certificates, and establish session keys. Clients and servers can support different cipher suites, or sets of ciphers, depending on factors such as which protocol they support, company policies on encryption strength, and government restrictions on export of encrypted software. Among other functions, the SSL and TLS handshake protocols determine how the server and client negotiate which cipher suites they will use to communicate.