The SSL handshake is the term given to the process of the browser and web server setting up a SSL session. The SSL handshake involves the browser receiving the SSL certificate and then sending "challenge" data to the web server in order to cryptographically prove whether the web server holds the SSL key associated with the SSL certificate. If the cryptographic challenge is successful then the SSL handshake has completed and the web server will hold a SSL session with the web browser. During a SSL session the data transmitted between the web server and web browser will be encrypted. The SSL handshake takes only a fraction of a second to complete.