Safeguarding software products with proper security measures have become the #1 priority for software developers. If you are thinking of protecting your software, app, or any other executables, you’re thinking in the right direction.
Code signing certificate brings source validity and code integrity to the table for developers to protect their digital assets. Source validity means the publishers of the software and executables are verified and legitimate. It helps bridge the trust gap between users and publishers and increases the number of downloads.
Code integrity assures that the software or executable hasn’t been modified or tampered with since it was developed and signed. However, is signing software code only for large organizations and businesses?
Code Signing Certificate
Well, technically, large organizations involved in software development usually apply for code-signing certificates. This has often created the misconception that individuals aren’t registered businesses and can’t get a digital security certificate for their software products.
But if you are working as a lone wolf, you don’t need to register as a business to get a code signing certificate.
Let’s See What An Individual Code Is Signing Certificate And Why Should Buy One:
What Is An Individual Code Signing Certificate?
Individual software developers are sometimes unable to prove or register themselves as a business. The certificate issuing authorities do understand this and provide a standard code signing certificate for individual software developers.
An individual code signing certificate is like what a standard code signing certificate is for small to large software firms. They both use the same public key infrastructure (PKI) to sign executables and software code files.
There’s no significant difference other than an IV code signing is issued to individuals while the regular one is issued to businesses. Also, the vetting and validation process for individuals differs from an organization validation process.
Individual Code Signing Certificate:
Developers can use this Individual Code Signing Certificate in several different ways. For instance, the certificate enables individuals to assert their identity using a digital signature. Moreover, the individual code signing helps you eliminate or avoid the Microsoft SmartScreen warnings of unknown publishers.
Another benefit of this standard code signing for individuals is to know whether the software is genuine and hasn’t been tampered with. Also, it helps protect your code via cryptographic hash to validate the authenticity and integrity of your software’s scripts.
How Can You Get An Individual Code Signing Certificate?
Just like any other code signing certificate, you can purchase an IV code-signing certificate from renowned CAs like Sectigo or Comodo or their trusted distributor. Getting your certificate from a reputable vendor over a CA is an affordable choice.
Here’s A Brief Process To Purchase An Individual Code Signing Certificate:
- Find a reliable and cheap code signing certificate distributor
- Purchase and raise a code signing request.
- Validate your identity and code integrity by following the guidelines set by issuing CA
- Provide notarized verification documents such as identification forms, financial or non-financial documents
- After verification is done, CA will issue the software publisher certificate for individuals to install.
- Integrate and sign your software code.
Why You Should Use an Individual Code Signing Certificate?
Below Are Some Reasons Why You Should Use An Individual Code Signing Certificate:
1. Unlimited Signing:
Just like a standard code signing certificate, once CA issues an individual code-signing certificate, you can sign an unlimited number of software products. You can do so until your software publisher certificate doesn’t expire.
2. Eliminate Unknown Publisher Warnings:
Software, executables, and scripts signed with individual code signing certificates will put your developer’s signature. This will enable major platforms and web browsers to recognize and validate you. Also, it’ll eliminate unknown publisher alerts or unsigned software warnings.
3. Software Authenticity:
Certificate Authorities first ask individuals to undergo a light vetting process by submitting different documents. Once submitted and validated, the CA will issue an IV code signing certificate stating the publisher is legitimate and the software is authentic.
4. Supported by Major Platforms:
After you buy an individual code signing certificate, you can digitally sign all your software, JAR files, Java Applets, Adobe Executables, or windows files. Your IV certificate works and is supported by all the major platforms.
5. Forever Valid Digital Signature:
Individual code signing certificates have a timestamping feature. You can timestamp your digital signature at the time of signing to make your signature valid even after the standard code-signing certificate for individuals expires.
As we learned, an individual code signing certificate is no different than the one that organizations use for signing their software and executable files. It’s similar to the standard or organization code signing certificate but for individual software developers.
You can easily buy individual code-signing certificates from the reputable certificate issuing authorities or their trusted and affordable distributors. After you make a purchase from the distributors, they’ll help you with the vetting process and raise a code-signing request for CAs to issue an IV code-signing certificate.