How to Renew Your Code Signing Certificate [A Step-by-Step Guide]

Renew Code Signing Certificate

Code signing certificates, just like other SSL certificates, expire after a certain time. However, it is not the end! You can reuse them after renewing the code signing certificates. To renew a code signing certificate, you need to go to the website of the CA.

Access to almost every online facility is heavily controlled by software or an app. Moreover, your PC on which you might be reading this also has an app, a driver, and a code that makes it possible. No matter what it is, each of them has a validity period.

Now, if you are a software developer or a development firm, you must use a code signing certificate. If you are a newbie to software development and code signing, you need to know that a code signing certificate has an expiration date. After that, it will not be valid, and if your software isn’t timestamped then your customers who might install the app will face the warning.

The generation of this error can impact your business in a bad way. Hence, it is necessary to renew the code signing certificate before it expires.

So, what are the technicalities of it, and how to renew a code signing certificate? Let’s read ahead and find out!

A brief-up on the need for code signing, why you should renew it on time and why you should care.

Do Code Signing Certificates Expire?

Yes, the code signing certificates do expire. The code signing certificate validity period is usually 1-3 years, based on the cycle you choose while purchasing them. However, there is a catch here!

Even if your code signing certificate expires, your software can still be considered valid for an extended period of time. How? With timestamping!

It’s great if you know what timestamping is, but if you don’t, here is the definition!

When you are signing the software with your code signing certificate, you can use the private key to timestamp the software. It is an optional signing process where you put the date and time of signing the code with the code signing certificate. This feature enables you to keep your software from being tagged as coming from an unknown publisher.

Though renewing your code signing certificate is super crucial, this optional feature keeps your customer base intact while you deal with other issues, like revoking the certificate.

Why Is Renewing a Code Signing Certificate Necessary?

Well, if you are not convinced yet, here are some solid reasons to renew your code signing certificate!

1. It protects your brand reputation

One key reason to renew code signing certificates before expiration is reputation. If you have opted for an EV code signing and it is valid, it boosts your reputation for Microsoft SmartScreen. This means that if your certificate is not valid, Microsoft SmartScreen will not consider it trusted and will raise a warning message.

On an overall basis, the reputation of your brand automatically declines if your software code is not trusted by multiple user computers and browsers.

2. Saves your revenue numbers

It is pretty obvious that if your users are facing error during installation, there will be negative reviews about your business. As more users will see the reviews, they will refrain from choosing your software.

This will directly affect your business revenue. Therefore, keeping the code signing certificate updated and renewed is necessary.

3. Saves your revenue numbers

It is pretty obvious that if your users are facing error during installation, there will be negative reviews about your business. As more users will see the reviews, they will refrain from choosing your software.

This will directly affect your business revenue. Therefore, keeping the code signing certificate updated and renewed is necessary.

How to Renew Your Code Signing Certificate?

Well, let’s deal with the most expensive question, how to renew code signing certificate. The process of renewing the code signing certificate is not an uphill battle. Here are the simple steps to renew a code signing certificate!

Moreover, if you renew the certificate after it has expired, you have to go through the entire validation or vetting process again. It will consume time, and you won’t be able to distribute your software.

Step 1: Start by selecting the product you want to renew. Once you have chosen your desired product, select a delivery method. Then, locate the “Renew Now” option and click on it.

There are 3 options available for token shipping:
Token+Shipping: This option includes both a physical token and shipping services.
Use Existing Token: If you already have a token, you can choose this option and proceed without the need for shipping.
Install on Your Own HSM: If you have your own Hardware Security Module (HSM), you can select this option to install the product on it.

Renew Code Signing Certificate

Step 2: Once you have chosen your preferred delivery method, proceed to place your order by clicking on Renew Now button. Make sure to provide all the necessary details and follow the instructions provided.

Step 3: After placing your order, you will need to complete the enrollment process based on the selected delivery mode. For that you need to submit basic organization details or individual identity for standard (token + shipping method) CSR and attestation If you already have hardware token then!

Step 4: After you have completed the enrollment process, the Certification Authority (CA) will verify your documents. Also, initiate the certificate issuance process based on your selected delivery mode. Please note that the processing time may vary depending on the chosen mode.

Ensure to review each step carefully. Guarantee to provide accurate information to successfully renew your product. Finally, receive the certificate as per your chosen delivery mode.

Conclusion

So, in the end, it is safe to say that using a code signing certificate is not enough; you need to renew them, too, on a periodic basis. However, make sure that you renew them enough time before the expiry date.

On top of that, also ensure that you timestamp your software codes to keep them valid even if your code signing certificate expires.

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.