Code Signing Certificates: The Lowdown

April 16, 2013 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Whether you’re a little familiar with developing software for use by others, or you’re a complete newbie planning on dipping your toes into the venture, the importance of a Code Signing Certificate will soon become clear. Whether you’ve developed a piece of software for a mobile device or you’re working on an update or a patch for existing software, code signing certificates ensure that the code is authentic and not corrupt.

While SSL certificates stored in a Certificate Intelligence Center are key for online business ventures, code signing certificates are crucial for software development. The way they work is simple. As with SSL certificates, code signing implements the use of two keys – the private and public keys. When code is written, a developer would use a private key to sign the code and confirm that it hasn’t been corrupted. At the other end, the user uses the public key to ‘unlock’ the new code. It’s recommended that the public key is acquired from a reputable CA too, so that full trust can be ensured.

To ensure complete reliability, purchase these code signing certificates from a reputable Certificate Authority to maximise confidence and trust. In fact, some providers, including Windows, dictate that code, particularly for mobile applications, is signed with a certificate issued by a trusted Certificate Authority.

Code signing is particularly handy when authorship and origin isn’t clear, such as in Java and ActiveX environments. These certificates are also regularly used for updates and patches for existing programmes and software, so that the user can be sure that there is no malicious activity and can be safe in the knowledge that, when installing the new patch, they won’t be compromising their computer network.

If you’re a software developer or you’re dabbling in the creation of code and software for the public market, make sure you understand the basics of the code signing certificate. Trust and consumer confidence are key and the basis of lucrative business.

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Category: software

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