As data is becoming a critical asset and data breach incidents are increasing, the software is becoming a primary factor for both. And for securing it, Code Signing Certificate is a primary component software publishers use.
Developers have recently been utilizing certificates with a 2048-bit key length. But, in 2021, a new policy was enacted, directing CAs to issue Code Signing Certificates with a 3072-Bit Key Length. The primary aim of defining such a standard was to strengthen security.
Moreover, there are many other aspects that a developer or security enthusiast must understand about such change. So, let’s have a look.
What is the 3072-Bit key Length?
Whenever a software developer utilizes a Code Signing Certificate, a pair of private and public keys comes into action. Both keys operate in correspondence and provide encryption and decryption functionality, respectively. And it has different key lengths, such as 1024-bit, 2048-bit, 3072-bit, and 4096-bit.
The bits represent the length of a key, helping the publishers to determine certificate security: the more bits, the less the chance of facing a cyber-attack. With a more significant number of bits, you can create additional unique alpha-numeric combinations, preventing the hacker from breaching and reading source code.
Currently, cyber-attacks increased, due to which NIST defines the guidelines for user 3072-bit encryption standard. Moreover, from the June of 2021, it has been made mandatory for every CA to issue Code Signing Certificate if its CSR is in a 3072-bit encrypted format. There are several reasons behind imposing such regulations. So, let’s take a look at them.
Why Certificate Authorities Move from 2048-Bit to 3072-Bit Key Length?
There are multiple reasons why certificate authorities are issuing code signing certificates with a 3072-bit key size. And below listed is the primary logic for such a change:
- To align with NIST and CA/Browser guidelines, CAs start issuing the code signing certificates with a 3072-bit key size. It also helps the publisher to comply with the latest standards and prevent legal actions.
- To strengthen overall security. A 3072-bit protected file is more complex to break in comparison to 1024-bit and 2048-bit. Therefore, to provide avant-garde security solutions, CAs seamlessly switch to the new NIST standard.
- 3072-bit encryption is more advanced than the traditional 2048-bit mechanism, offering 60,000+ unique combinations to make code unreadable for attackers, hackers, and crackers.
- To main the reputation and place in the industry, CA/B Forum and certificate providers agree to offer solutions with the 3072-bit standard. They must ensure user safety to enhance user trust, productivity, and revenue.
Impact of 3072-Bit Length on Code Signing Certificate
With the implementation of the standard to use 3072-bit encryption, Code Signing Certificate users have seen a solidification in code security. The source code breaches are getting reduced, as hackers cannot convert source code into its original format and modify it.
In addition, cracking a 3072-bit encrypted file requires way more computational resources than breaching 2048-bit encryption. Hence, it reduces the probability of getting attacked and breached quickly. The attacker will need to plan its attack more accurately. However, you can disable any long-term illegitimate planning if you frequently audit and update your security systems.
Likewise, Code Signing Certificates, SSL certificates are also offered with the same bit configuration. And, if you utilize both certificates, aligning with the latest security approaches, cyber-attacking your software will be near to impossible.
Hence, the Certificate provider and users are analyzing a positive change with the modification in the key length.
Can Any Software Publisher Buy Code Signing Certificate with a 3072-Bit Key?
YES, any software publisher can avail the advantage of the 3072-bit encryption standard. You only have to purchase and complete the validation process of the certificate offering such functionality. Whether you are an individual developer or an enterprise, obtaining a certificate with such an advanced feature is a seamless task.
You can also check the current private key version of any certificate by following the below steps:
Step 1: Select an executable or software setup file.
Step 2: Double-click on the file to let the system run it and display a dialogue box.
Step 3: Click on More Details, and you will get the option to view the Code Signing Certificate.
Step 4: A new dialog box will get opened, displaying Certificate Details. It will have three tabs, General, Details, and Certificate Path.
Step 5: Switch to the Details Tab and scroll down to the Public Key option. You will know whether the software follows the 2048-bit key or the newer 3072-bit key standard.
To make your code tamper-proof and ensure its integrity, you must purchase it from an authentic provider.
Best Code Signing Certificate Provider, Offering Solutions Aligning with Latest Standards
Data confidentiality and integrity is a serious concerns for every software publisher. And Code Signing Certificate is an essential component to maintain them. Therefore, you should always purchase a certificate from a reliable provider, such as SignMyCode.
Additionally, you should follow the below checklist before finalizing your provider.
- The seller must be offering support services, available 24/7.
- Free tools to generate CSR must be available on the vendor’s website.
- The provider should have a wide variety of Code Signing Certificates to offer.
- If the distributor is an authorized partner of CA, likewise SignMyCode, it’s a great deal.
- The provider must offer numerous guides and resources to aid certificate configuration.
Implementing 3072-bit encryption for Code Signing Certificate is the right decision by the CA/B forum. With the advancement of technology and security, it is essential always to have a strong foundation. The 3072-Bit mechanism uses a more complicated mathematical algorithm than the 2048-bit. As a result, cyber-attacks get prevented, and publishers provide secure software.
In addition, from the mid of 2021, all CAs will be providing certificates with a 3027-bit key length. And you should only avail of a certificate with the same configuration to be on the top charts.