How to Solve Code Signing Certificate Expiration Issues?

Code Signing Certificate Expiry Issues

Expiring Code Signing Certificate: Know its Impact on Your Software and How to Renew and Prevent the Certificate from Expiration

In this article, you will learn in details about how to avoid code signing certificate expired issues and best ways to solve that within minutes.

A code signing certificate is essential in showcasing the trustworthiness of your software to users. It ensures that your software is safe to use and does not contain any malicious files.

However, a code signing certificate does not have an infinite lifespan. This means the certificate is valid only for a set period of time, after which it needs to be renewed, or a new certificate needs to be purchased.

You might wonder what happens to the software and programs signed through that certificate. Well, if you have software signed with an expired code signing certificate, its credibility can be questioned if the software was not timestamped when digitally signed.

So let us dive a little deeper into this topic and comprehensively understand how to avoid code signing expiry and what to do if your code signing certificate has expired.

What Does Code Signing Certificate Expiration Mean?

Every code signing certificate you purchase from the certification authority (CA) has a defined validation period for that software. You can sign several applications using the software within that time frame.

However, once the code signing certificate expires, you will have to renew it or purchase a new certificate for your programs and applications.

This is so because if a certificate is granted lifetime validity and another entity takes over the business after some time, it may misuse the certificate and offer harmful software downloads to users.

Hence, the certificate owners need to ensure that their certification is up to date at all times to avoid code signing certificate expired issue and for a safe software experience.

Recommended Read: What Happens Once Your Code Signing Certificate Expires?

When Does Your Code Signing Certificate Expire?

The code signing certificate that your purchase expires after a set period that is mentioned on the certificate itself. As explained above, the certificate expires when you fail to renew it on time or purchase a new certificate for your programs.

The certificate authority continuously validates your legitimacy before issuing you the certificate. It ensures that you are an authentic developer and not trying to fool the users.

Having a seal of certification authority means that users can trust your software and make it to their use. However, to ensure this trustworthiness remains intact over the years, you must Renew Code Signing Certificate for your programs. 

If not, your software will no longer remain entitled to safe usage, and users may get warning messages upon downloading them. It may seriously harm your business and create a bad impact.

Therefore, your expired code signing certificate should be immediately renewed to secure users’ trust in your programs. 

Renew Your Code Signing Certificate Starts at Just $199.99/yr

Risks Your Software is Exposed to After Expiration of Code Signing?

Many software developers and publishers often wonder what will happen after their code signing certificate expired. Here are some of the things that may occur:

The Software Exposes Itself to More Cyber Attacks

One of the biggest risks of an expired code signing certificate is exposure to higher cyber attacks. As the software is not certified any more, hackers may find a way into your program code and modify it to spread ransomware.

When downloading the software, users will also download malicious files, which may lead to their system failure or breach of sensitive information.

Warning Messages In Your Software Installation Process Starts Appearing

After your code signing certificate expires, the software starts showcasing the warning message to users when downloading or installing the software.

A warning may appear that the software program that you are installing is not verified and may contain harmful files. This scares away most users, and they shy away from installing the software to their system.

Lack of Trust within Users for Your Software

Building trust in your brand and products among users is surely one of the most challenging things. However, once your code signing certificate expired, the risk of losing trust among users in the software widens.

As the software is no longer carrying a security certificate that it can present to its users, most people start losing trust in the software. They would surely start looking for new similar software that has a code signing certificate and can assure a safe download.

Adverse Impact on Your Brand Reputation

The impact of not renewing your code signing certificate can be severe. Most users, when downloading software, look for reputed and genuine brands.

Most likely, without a code signing certificate, the users may want to prevent buying software from your brand as it may contain harmful files. This has a lot of negative impact on your brand reputation and may lead to loss of business and clients.

How to Avoid Code Signing Certificate Expiry Issues?

Fortunately, certain measures can be leveraged to avoid code signing expiry. Here are some of them:

1. Time Stamping

Time stamping is a great way to supply your software even after your code signing certificate expires. When digital signatures are applied to your software, the software is generally timestamped.

When a user is trying to install your software in their system, the system checks your software’s digital signature and timestamp to ensure it is safe to install. A timestamp even works if the code signing certificate is already expired.

Conversely, if there is no timestamp on the software, the system will check the certificate expiration date against the current date. It will then display the message that the certificate for this software is expired. Hence it may not be safe to use. 

2. Renewal of Certificates on Time

The best way to avoid code signing certificate expired issue is to renew your certificate in time. It is definitely the best way to genuinely authenticate your software and provide a worry-free experience to your software users.

Individual developers may think of using other measures instead of renewing the software. But professional companies should never consider alternative measures and renew or buy code signing certificate once their previous certificate expires.

3. Purchasing a New and Refined Certificate for Software Security

Code signing certificates keep evolving with newer trends and technologies. Hence, you must consider buying a new and refined code signing certificate for your software that may be perfect for its use. You can check out different types of code-signing certificates and buy the one that suits your requirements.

Steps to Take After Your Code Signing Certificate Is Expired

Is your code signing certificate expired? If yes, then you must take the following steps:

1. Purchase or Renew Code Signing Certificate

Foremostly, re-purchase a code signing certificate from an authentic certificate authority (CA). You may buy the same certificate as before or update it with a new and better certificate. Check your requirements, explore the available certificates in the store, and buy the best one for your needs.

2. Validate the Certificate

The certificate you purchase is not issued until the certificate authority validates it. There are three types of validation procedures in code signing certificates:

  • EV Validation (For High-Security Purposes)
  • OV Validation (For Organizational Software)
  • Individual Validation (For Individual Developers)

Depending upon the certificate you wish to choose, the certification authority will check and validate your organization, locality, address, and contact information and issue you the renewed or newly purchased certificate.

3. Install Your Code Signing Certificate

Once you have received the code signing certificate, you can install it on different browsers and use it to digitally sign software, programs, and executables.

Where to Purchase or Renew Your Code Signing Certificate?

Find the best solutions for your expired code signing certificate at SignMyCode. The authentic suppliers of code-signing certificates and offer multiple code-signing certificates at the best market rates.

The Final Thoughts

A code signing certificate is necessary to keep the trust of your software users active. It ensures that your brand is genuine and the software downloaded from your store won’t harm the user system.

Therefore, make sure to renew code signing certificate after its expiration and provide your users with a flawless software experience.

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Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.