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The Easiest Guide to Code Signing Certificate.

Digitally signing your software code is required if your company produces it. What is code signing? And why is it so important?

Your app’s security can be greatly improved by code signing certificates. This blog will discuss what code signing certificates are and how they work, as well as their types, FAQ, etc.

You will find tips and tricks to help you get your code signing certification today at the end of this blog.

The best thing? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or anything to comprehend it.

Let’s get started

What is a code signing certification? Where can they be used?

The system will ask you permission to install any software. The image below is an example.

Image Source: Google

Familiar?

This means that the software you want to install has been signed by a code signing certificate.

What is a code signing certification?

Software developers sign their software programs digitally using code signing certificates. This allows the system to verify the source of the code. If desired, the signature of the code also contains details such as your name and company name, along with the timestamp.

This adds a layer of trust and confidence for the user.

Here is an example of software that does not require a code signing certificate.

Compare both of these prompts. Particularly the “Publisher” Name. Software with a code signing certificate indicates that its publisher has been verified. The software without the code signing certificate clearly states that its publisher is verified.

After you have found certain software unreliable, you must uninstall it.

Users also tend to steer clear of unreliable software, just as you. Users tend to stick to software that is published by a trusted publisher, i.e. software that has a code-signing certification.

Users also recommend your software, increasing your chances of getting more downloads.

Investing in IP security measures will always pay off.

How does code signing certificates work

We now know what code signing certificates look like. Let’s find out how they work.

Verification of a Code Signing Certificate

  1. Sign your software with a code signing certificate
  2. Your software is given a digital signature (Verification Mark) and a hashmark.
  3. A public key is used to decrypt the software signature when a user downloads the file.
  4. Comparing the hash of the user’s file with your software’s hash is possible.
  5. If all data strings match, identity is confirmed.

All of this happens internally. If codes, signatures, hashes, and signatures do not match, you and the user will be notified. If the codes, hashes, signatures, etc. do not match you will be notified.

Image Source: www.digicert.com

Code Signing Certificates

1) Is SSL possible for code signing?

No, you cannot. You cannot use the same code signing certificate and SSL certificates interchangeably. This is because SSL certificates are used to identify a website, while Code Signing Certificates can be used to verify a software’s identity.

2) Do I need an SSL Certificate before I can use a Code Signing Certificate

Yes. You must first secure the website hosting your software’s download links. It makes it easy to obtain the code signing certificate.

3) Which is the best code signing certificate?

DigiCert EV Code Signing Certificate

DigiCert is the preferred choice because of its brand value and excellent features. This includes the number of applications that can be signed, the issuance time, the smooth validation process, and validity.

4) How long is a Code Signing Certificate valid?

The validity of code signing certificates is for 1 – 3 years. To notify yourself when your certificate expires, you must timestamp the code.

Benefits of Code Signing Certificates

1) More trust = More downloads

Users love the safety zone, just like you. No one wants to be infected by another virus. They are not safe in the real world or on their devices. To avoid this, people download software only from a trusted source.

They are more likely to recommend your trusted program to others, which will increase your downloads. You can increase your software’s credibility organically by using the code signing certificate’s authority, or what we like calling ‘The Certificate of Trust.

2) There is no security warning

Warning signs are not something anyone likes. A code signing certificate ensures that your customers have a smooth process. All the positive signals are good for your software’s professional image and happy customers.

3) Protecting Your Intellectual Property

You must ensure that your IP is protected against fraud, theft, and other data breaches. You can do this by signing a code signing certificate. You can prove your identity and declare that you want to protect your users.

4) Detect Modified Files Easily

Digitally signing your codes can easily detect files that have been altered, tampered with, or copied. You can even guarantee the validity of your code signing certificate after it expires. The time-stamping capabilities of the code signing certificate allow for this.

BENEFITS OF SIGNING EV CODE CERTIFICATES

1) A USB Device

You receive an encrypted USB flash drive containing your private key when you buy a certificate. Only that physical device can be used to sign your EV Code signing certificate. This is an online security measure to protect against identity data theft.

2) Microsoft Defender SmartScreen

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen allows you to meet the software standards that are trusted. This acts as a reputation filter and communicates your authenticity. This reduces the number of warning messages and increases trust. Only EV code signing certificates are required to achieve this.

Best Practices in Code Signing Certificates

Before we can discuss the best practices in code signing certificates, it is important to understand why they are so crucial.

A study by Recorded future found that compromised private keys can be sold on the dark internet. Because they are more expensive than guns and passports, it is one of the most popular products. This means you need a strong to-do list to ensure your code-signing certificate is protected.

 

To-Do List to Protect Your Code Signing Certificate

1 Allow minimal access to your private keys

  • Reduce the number of computers that have access to your private keys.
  • Only authorized personnel are allowed to have access.
  • To increase the security of your USB token, you can use physical security controls.

2) Use Cryptographic Hardware Solutions

  • Use FIPS 140 Level-2 certified product.

3) Sign with Time Stamping Features

  • The timestamp is a server provided by the CA to record the date and the time that your software was signed. This can be used to identify fake certificates. You can also verify your code after expiry or revoke the certificate.

4) Authenticate Your Code Before Signing

  • You will need to use a separate process to submit and approve code signings. This is done to prevent signing unapproved, malicious, or unreliable code.
  • For auditing purposes, keep a detailed record of all code signing activities.

5) Double-check your code before you sign

  • Perform a thorough review to confirm and check your code.
  • To avoid any unexpected bugs or problems, ensure that QA testing is performed.
  • To double-check the code you have released, run a virus scan assessment

6) Don’t use your private key to sign the code.

  • Sign all codes using a single certificate and key. To avoid conflicts, keep changing it frequently.

7) When things get bad, report to your CA:

  • If your certificate has been compromised, notify your CA immediately. Notify your CA immediately if you lose your private key.

8 Automation is the key

  • Automate tasks like certificate generation, renewal, tracking. You can also do the same thing to be notified about your expiry date for your code signing certificate.

9 – Improvise and Adapt

  • To keep up with the changes in security measures, you should constantly improve your security. This will help you avoid the possibility of someone compromising your private keys.

10 Choose the correct code signing certificate

  • Use code signing certificates like DigiCert EV Code Signing Certificate. This will ensure that you are always at the top of your security game.

 

How do I get the best code signing certificate today?

  1. Visit
  2. Select “SSL Type” in the menu
  3. Select ‘Code Signing Cert’
  4. Choose your preferred certificate
  5. Done! Now you can get your code signing certificate!

We hope you enjoyed reading our article on code signing certificates. We hope you find the information useful and interesting. If you would like to know more about code signing certificates, please email We look forward to speaking with you!