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Malware is one of the prime issues for modern-day organizations and individuals. This is a bit surprising to know because with the advancement of technology, encryption and other powerful security methods are in place to avoid cyber threats.
No doubt these methods are in place, but cyberthieves somehow always find a way to hack into any device and steal data.
One of the prominent and easy ways to get into a person’s PC is via software. If you are a user and you have witnessed the warning message indicating that this software is published by an unknown publisher, you are close to getting your machine compromised. However, if you somehow got your machine infected, next time, do check the name of the publisher.
Now, you must be wondering why we are discussing this. Let us enlighten you! You see, if the software comes from an unknown publisher, it is not code-signed, and if it is, it has been made by a legitimate party. That legitimate party took the liberty to get code signing certificate to sign the software produced by them.
Now, what is a code signing certificate, and who needs them? Read ahead to find out!
Before we talk about the code signing certificate, let’s explore code signing.
Code signing is a process where a software code or driver code is signed, and a digital signature is added to it. This digital signature ensures that the code comes from a legitimate source and is safe to use on the machine.
On the other hand, a code signing certificate is an X.509 certificate that is used to sign the software code or driver code. The code signing certificate of various types, such as OV Code Signing Certificate and EV Code Signing Certificate. A code signing certificate is provided by a reputed party like a certificate authority. They carefully verify the legitimacy of the certificate-seeking party by checking their documents before issuing. It can take a few hours to over five days to obtain the code signing certificate.
Just like discussed above, a code signing is super beneficial as it has countless pros for software providers. Here are some of them!
When software like an antivirus or a browser is developed, a lot of time and effort is included in it. To ensure that the hard work of the developers does not go down the drain, a code signing certificate is used.
The use of a code signing certificate ensures a safe and secure code for your PC.
If you are worried about installing any fake or harmful software from the web, a code signing certificate can help. You see whenever you download software before you install it, you will always see a pop-up that informs you about its maker or publisher.
If the software is not from an authenticated maker, you will see an unknown publisher stamped beside the name of the publisher.
This is a clear indication that you need to abort. The box is usually yellow in color.
One of the key benefits if you have a code signing certificate is a reputation. It is pretty obvious that if your software is trusted by users, you are surefire to get a boost in your reputation. But it does not end here. When you have software signed by an authentic code signing certificate, you will get a Microsoft SmartScreen reputation.
It means that the Microsoft malware defender will not flag your software as bad. However, it only works for software that is signed using an EV code signing certificate.
When you use a code signing certificate to sign your software, the machines of the users do not show any warning messages to them. This automatically makes the users trust your software. Now, it all depends on you how you can maintain that trust.
As listed above, the use of a code signing certificate makes the PC trust the originality of the software. This automatically leads to the prevention of unwanted pop-ups and warning messages.
Well, when it comes to the need for a code signing certificate, it is required by anyone who plans to launch awesome and genuine software in the market. To ensure that your software is trusted and is received well by the market, you need to have a code signing certificate. Now, who are YOU here? Let’s find out!
If you are a solo software developer, you can get a code signing certificate, and you will need that. However, you can only get the standard code signing certificate. There are two types of certificates, but you can only get the standard one as the EV code signing certificate is provided only to an organization as it has a strict vetting process.
Though tech giants like Apple and Microsoft have their own code signing or certificate authority, if some other firm or individual makes software for their business, they need a code signing certificate. It is best to get an EV code signing certificate if you are a business as it provides you with the Microsoft SmartScreen reputation.
The third on the list are the software development companies. No matter if you are developing a small browser app or a large graphics-loaded game, you are entitled to get a code signing certificate to establish your legitimacy in front of the users.
So, anyone who develops executables, applications, drivers, and software programs need a code signing certificate to secure it.
As mentioned above, the code signing certificate is catered to you by a certificate authority, or should we say CA? The process to get the code signing certificate is pretty easy. First, you have to choose from which certificate authority you want to get the certificate. You can get it from Certera, COMODO, or Sectigo.
Here are the remaining steps!
A code signing certificate is an essential component of the public key infrastructure. Hence, no matter if you are an individual developer or a tech firm, you will require a code signing certificate to make things easy and beneficial for you. It will help in building user trust, making your business legit, and boosting revenue.
Make your choice wisely, as there are two types of code signing certificates, and both of them have their unique characteristics.
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