The SSL protocol is a security protocol that sits on top of TCP at the transport layer. In the OSI model, application layer protocols such as HTTP or IMAP, handle user application tasks such as displaying web pages or running email servers.
Session layer protocols establish and maintain communications channels. Transport layer protocols such as TCP and UD P, handle the flow of data between two hosts. Network layer protocols such as IP and ICMP provide hop-by-hop handling of data packets across the network.
SSL operates independently and transparently of other protocols so it works with any application layer and any transport layer protocol. This allows clients and servers to establish secure SSL connections without requiring knowledge of the other party’s code.