Everything About Software Publisher Certificates

What is Software Publisher Certificates

You sell software online, and a customer buys and uses it. Sounds simple, right? However, there is more to selling software. They need to trust that it has come from you and not some third party claiming to be you.

Apart from that, they must also know that the software has not been tampered with since its creation. So how do you create that level of trust?

What is a Software Publisher Certificates?

A Software Publisher Certificate helps your buyers know that you are the official code publisher and that no third party has any access to it. Also known by the name Code Signing Certificate, it is a digital certificate used by software developers and companies to digitally sign the code before subjecting it to public availability.

By creating a digital shrink wrap over an application/code/software/device driver, the certificate validates identity, makes your code tamper-resistant, and flashes fewer warning messages.

Let’s se how it works.

How Does It Works?

The Certificate Authority (CA) employs public key infrastructure (PKI) and a rigorous vetting process for signing the code of drivers, software, and applications. The process is something like this:

Use of Private Key for Digital Signature:

For adding a robust digital signature to the code a developer uses a private key.

Decoding the Digital Signature:

With a public key, the user can decode the signature that was originally applied during the code signing process. The key is used by the user’s software or application to decode the signature.

Validation of the Digital Signature:

Then the software searches for a root certificate with a verified identity to validate the applied signature.

Application of Hash:

After this, a hash is applied by the software system during the download of the application. Another hash (root) is used during the code signing.

Validation of the Hashes and Root:

If the hashes and root are validated and matched, the download continues to take place, and if not, the download stops and displays a warning message.

With such strict standards set, what does this certificate do? Let us find out.

How it Works?

Does Identity Verification

Building customer trust must be the priority for any developer. It is because if your users don’t trust your software, their count of its download will drop drastically.

Worst case scenario: when a user looks for your software and comes across a hacker that is trying to commit cybercrime by targeting your brand. If this happens, your brand’s reputation gets tarnished.

With the help of a software publisher certificate, you can safeguard your data, and help end-users to validate your identity. The digital signature in the certificate helps in validating the identity of the distributor and verifies that the file has not been subjected to any alteratipn or tampering since it was signed.

When you sign your code with a private key and encrypted digital signature, the users get to know that they are indeed downloading the software from the right publisher.

Code Safety with Tamper-Proofing

Once your software goes live, no one or nothing except a digital signing can stop a cybercriminal from tampering with your codes. However, it works wonders as the private key is used to encrypt the software’s hash.

Thus, the code stays safe from any menaces of getting tampered with after it goes live. So, not just your users but also your brand enjoys 100% protection, and the cert makes sure there is zero interception from malicious actors.

Decrease of Warning Messages

We all hate red flags, and it is the worst when they come with warning messages to software makers. It causes endless hassle for the developers, especially if Microsoft SmartScreen Reputation Filter triggers an unusual warning message upon installation.

Recommended: The Fundamentals of Windows Defender SmartScreen

So again, when you buy code signing certificate for your software, it works wonders by ensuring that your software can be trusted by the browser and the user’s system by getting rid of all those warning messages.

Now that we know what these certificates do, let us check their benefits:

What are the Benefits?

High Security:

The CAs send the digital certificate and the encryption keys via a physical USB device. Since it is only you, the code publisher, who solely possesses the private key, the process is quite secure. You can only sign the certificate via your certificate with that particular USB device sent by the CA.

Increase in Revenue:

Software developers are increasingly mandating code signing processes from a trusted CA for software distribution among users. This is an added advantage for small companies or individual developers to win users’ trust with their authenticity. This, in turn, helps in boosting brand presence and revenue.

Highly Trusted by Microsoft SmartScreen Reputation Filter:

Microsoft puts deep trust in the Code signing processes and removes any kind of warning message that might come up during installation.

These are some benefits you can enjoy if you code-sign your software. Getting a Cheap Code Signing Certificate is no longer a problem as several reliable vendors offer economical code signing certs.

Final Words

As digitization has taken up all the business domains across various fields like finance, retail, education, and health, data security has become the top priority for every user.

Get Comodo Code Signing Certificates
Janki Mehta

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.

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