We all download apps and software on our computers for various purposes. But how many of us are aware of the Windows Code Signing Certificate? Some of these apps and software programs come with a special digital signature. This signature aims to ensure the safety and authenticity of that app. That special digital signature is known as a Code Signing Certificate, which was invented by Michael Doyle in 1995.

The role of this signature to keep your device and personal information secure is crucial. If you find this topic a little hard to understand, we will help you to get everything you need to know about Windows Code Signing Certificate in this article.


What is a Code Signing Certificate?

A Code Signing Certificate is a digital certificate. Website and software developers use this signature to keep their codes secured from digital theft and forgeries. The certificate allows these professionals to digitally sign their codes, scripts, drivers, web applications, executables, and other software solutions.

This digital certificate has information that can identify the entity. It is issued by a legit Certificate Authority to ensure that the product is original and no one has tempered it. The certificate tells the users that it is safe to download that particular software or app on their device. A developer needs to use a Digital Certificate to create a digital signature for all the products they develop.

The identity of an organization is securely bonded to a public key through this certificate. That public key is mathematically connected to a matching private key pair. The developers will use that private key to apply the digital signature. The public key aims to verify the signature made by the developers through that private key.

The digital signature is applied on an abbreviated variety of the code. That version is operated through a hashing algorithm. Once the developer signs the code’s hash, that individual gets access to a method to validate if anyone tried to temper the code after it was signed. Even if someone tries to change a single character in the line of a code, it will be detected as a suspect.

In short, this certificate aims to allow the safe and fair distribution of software products by proving these codes are not compromised by any digital trespassers.

Two Types of Code Signing Certificates

You can find two types of Code Signing Certificates. They are;

1.    OV or Organization Validation Code Signing Certificate, which is also known as the Standard Certificate

2.    EV or Extended Validation Code Signing Certificate

OV vs Ev: Which One to Choose?

·       Standard Certificate: Standard Code Signing Certificate allows the developers to sign all their codes, executables, software programs, and drivers to ensure the end-users about the authenticity and legitimacy of the product. The user will understand that the software program they strive to download generates from a known vendor and can be trusted.

·       EV or Extended Validation Code Signing Certificate: In Extended Validation Code Signing Certificate, one can have all the benefits of the OV Certificate along with a strict selection method. There will be hardware protection needs as well. Hence, the users will easily rely on the integrity of your applications during the download or installation.

What is a Windows Code Signing Certificate?

As the name suggests, Windows Code Signing Certificate is specifically used for Windows operating system codes. Windows Code Signing Certificate is offered by various SSL certificate providers and resellers. Their cost is nominal and the product is easy to access.

Who Are the Code Signing Certificate Authorities?

Comodo, Sectigo, GeoTrust, etc. work as the trusted CAs or Certificate Authorities. They offer these certificates for Windows products to sign the codes and prove the authenticity of the content to users.

The end-users of Windows software are aware of the presence of this signature that helps to identify the product's authenticity and integrity. They know this app is safe to download and install on their computer or other devices.

Why Do You Need a Windows Code Signing Certificate?

Web and software developers who like to promote or display their codes on the Windows operating system should consider buying their codes to keep their products secured. The signature will help these professionals to prove their authenticity and credibility as publishers to the end-users. At the same time, they can increase their revenues because users will download and install those codes without any hassle.

Benefits of Windows Code Signing Certificate

1.    It helps build the authenticity and integrity of the code.

2.    It helps to recognize the source from where the application or the software is generated.

3.    It helps in building users’ trust in that product and its publisher.

4.    It helps in recognizing the true identity of the publisher.

5.    It raises the graph of software downloads.

6.    It improves the reputation of the software developer and publisher among the end-users.

7.    It has great compatibility with all Windows OS.

8.    Microsoft Azure Cloud platform comes with precise security needs, and Microsoft Authenticode code signing certificates fulfill all of them.

9.    There will be no warning alerts when users download software products signed with the help of this certificate. Hence, it saves time.

Conclusion

Downloading duplicate or fake software can cause severe harm to the device as well as the personal information of the end-users. This is why developers are always careful in protecting their products from digital forgery while publishing them online. Unsigned apps are risky and subject to tempering. Users will receive the “Unknown Publisher” security warning message while downloading unsigned software.

On the other hand, digitally signed software is proof of trust, integrity, and security. It also proves the reputation and transparency of the developer as a publisher of the software on the digital platform.

This is why end-users always prefer to download and install web applications and software products on their computer come with Windows Code Signing Certificate. This will allow them to avoid risks of damage to the device and keep their personal information safe from online theft. Therefore, Windows Code Signing Certificate is helpful for both developers and end-users.