With the advent of the internet, more people are visiting the internet to have an answer to their queries.
The increased penetration of smartphones has also led to the proliferation of several mobile apps. Mobile apps allow users to use them at their convenience.
Even several renowned desktop software is bringing out mobile app versions to entice more usage. However, it is necessary to inform the audience that the piece of code they are downloading from the internet is safe.
Studies have shown that at least 93% of all mobile transactions were blocked in 2019 as they were fraudulent. It is necessary to enthuse a sense of trust in your customers that the software they are downloading is safe. It is also the reason why you must buy a code signing certificate.
What is a Code Signing Certificate?
How can developers ensure that the customers trust the software they are downloading? Yes, it can be done by having this certificate.
These certificates are used by software developers to digitally sign and provide their assertion that the software or mobile app has not been tampered with by an unauthorized person.
Users may otherwise receive a warning that the piece of code they were about to download was unsafe. It would drive them away and lead to the loss of brand equity.
The certificate contains the information that identifies the entity that is responsible for the software and is provided by a renowned Certification Authority. It binds the identity of the entity of the developer to a public key.
This key is then related mathematically to a private key. The developer signs using the private key while the end-user uses the public key of the developer for confirmation.
Benefits of Code Signing Certificate
You must choose from among the best code signing certificates to ensure that the customers are confident to download your software. We will now discuss some of the benefits that are associated with this certificate.
Maximization of revenue
The increased number of mobile users has led to a large number of mobile apps and additional revenues for mobile app developers. But how can the customers know that the apps are authentic?
There is a need to use a cheap code signing certificate and prevent the spread of malware. They must procure the certificate from a trusted Certification Authority, which can support multiple platforms.
Protecting your reputation
No brand would like to lose its brand image due to a data breach. It is one of the reasons that any mobile app or software must have to choose one from among the best code signing certificates. These certificates are proof of the integrity of the developer as the underlying code cannot be altered without proper authorization.
The hash that was used to sign the application must match that of the downloaded software. If it is otherwise, the users must not download the software as there would be a security warning.
Efficient security process
It is easy to integrate the code signing process into the process of developing the software. There are API as well as web-based integration that makes the work easier. It can help in having no security warnings and protecting the integrity of the software. As a result, the customer does not have to experience any failure in installation.
How Does Code Signing Work?
The first step is to find out the code signing certificate price and pay for it. You must get it from one of the renowned CAs. The CA will verify the identity of the organization by performing the necessary due diligence based on the documentation that was provided. On completion of the validation, the certificate is provided.
The developer will create a one-way hash of the piece of code and is encrypted with the private key. This private key is known only to the user.
The hash and certificate are bundled with the software. The end-user has to decrypt the hash with the public key that is present in the certificate.
Now, a new hash will be created for the software. Once the hash is compared and found to be the same, it can be confirmed that the piece of software is safe.
After the signing of the code, the information like the company details and the time stamp are provided. It will confirm the entity from where the software originated and that any unauthorized personnel did not alter the code.
The certificate can be used for various types of software, including utility software, applications, web applications, operating systems, etc.
You must also note that while buying a certificate, you choose the validity period also. The certificate will expire beyond that period. So, you will not be able to use to sign any new executable files.
You will be astonished to know that the signatures for the existing pieces of code will also become invalid unless you provide them with a timestamp. It is a piece of information that tells when the code was signed. If the signing was done within the period of validity, all is well.
What Does Code Signing Do?
You may choose a cheap code signing certificate, but will it support all applications! It can sign scripts and executables. It protects the software by providing cryptographic protection against any unauthorized alteration of the software.
We have seen that the certificate ensures that only the secure version of the software can be downloaded. It can authenticate the author of the software as each certificate has a private key in possession of the entity that owns the software.
When the end-users try to run the software, the platform used by them will check and show the signature to the user. The user can understand the origin of the software and make an informed decision about whether to download it or not.
The certificate allows the user to check if there is a valid certificate. The presence or absence will make the users understand whether anyone has tampered with the software.
In most cases, the software you use will come with future updates. It will keep you in a better frame of mind if these updates come with the certificate. If it has the same key, you are assured about the authenticity of the underlying code.
Where is Code Signing Used?
Let us now understand where the process of code signing can be done. Code signing can be used for .jar files, Microsoft Office VBA macros, Windows patches, and applications or .air files, etc.
We will look into how some of the software can use it.
For Visual Studio. It helps you a lot when name signing for the assemblies. It could be difficult, but the code signing process through Visual Studio can help to enthuse trust.
For iOS. Xcode is used to sign the code in iOS for the App Store. iOS can now make out the entity who had signed the code initially. It will help to ensure that it has not been altered by anyone later. If you feel any changes must be done, you may use Xcode to make them.
For C#. You must stay assured that Visual # utilizes a robust name signing mechanism. It leads to a unique sign code that cannot be replicated. The code cannot be made available to anyone else. You can only sign using sn.exe tool.
For Windows. All files that are signed by a renowned CA are known to be secure on the Windows platform. Any executable file can be signed.
Your customers must download authentic versions of software and prevent any malware from getting downloaded. It can be done by installing a code signing certificate. But you may be wondering how to get a code signing certificate?
Several renowned certification authorities can provide you with a suitable option. The CAs will validate the entity, and this ensures that the piece of code is coming from a competent developer.