EV code signing

What is an EV Code Signing Certificate and Why Use It?

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It’s the moral responsibility of development firms to validate that their software code is safe for use by people. For the same, it’s a must for them to digitally sign all the software and executables.

Software signed with a code signing certificate helps operating systems and users recognize that the file or application is from a legitimate and reliable source. If the identity is not confirmed, the operating systems or browsers will send out a warning or display alerts about unknown publishers.

However, with the code signing certificate, these security alerts can be eliminated completely. Additionally, software code protected by digital certificates ensures that it’s not modified or altered since signed.

Among these, there are several other benefits of signing your software products with a certificate. However, when it comes to choosing a certificate type most organizations find it difficult to decide which one is better: Organization or Extended?

In this article, we will learn about extended validation code signing certificates to help you with the selection process:

What is Extended Validation Code Signing Certificate?

EV code signing or Extended Validation certificate is the highest level of trust indicator that software companies can obtain. Software signed with such certificates can easily bypass the SmartScreen filters on Windows and mobile devices during the software installation. This will reduce or eliminate the warning messages and increase your brand reputation too.

Another use case of this EV code signing is that you can easily detect if the executable files are modified. Moreover, the timestamping features included in the certificate can inform users if the software has a valid certificate or not.

Certificate Authorities or their distributors can only issue a valid EV certificate. Software development firms that want to buy EV code signing certificate need to undergo a rigorous vetting process and hardware security requirements. This will further boost the confidence and trust in your users about your application.

The biggest advantage of an certificate is it comes with two-factor authentication. Here, you will receive the USB device that contains the private key after the purchase. Only people with access to this physical device can sign their software with an EV code signing certificate.

You can purchase such an advanced certificate from Certificate Authorities like Sectigo or Comodo. Alternatively, you can buy EV code signing certificates from trusted distributors at an affordable and cheap rate.

How to Get an Extended Code Signing Certificate?

As mentioned, you can buy extended validation code signing certificates from renowned CAs or their trusted distributors. Here’s a step-by-step process for buying one:

  • The first and foremost step is to find reliable and cheap EV code signing certificate providers
  • Next is to generate the certificate signing request
  • Once you raise the request successfully, the CA will require you to undergo a validation
  • You’ll need to submit the business registration documents and prove the legitimacy of your organization
  • The CA will take 1 to 5 days for validation but once it completes, you’ll get an EV code signing certificate

Read more: Does Every Business Need to Keep Up with Tech Trends

Why Use Extended Code Signing Certificates?

Let’s see some of the reasons why use an extended validation certificate:

  • Time-Sensitive Signing: With the timestamp feature, your signature will continue to be valid even after the original EV code signing certificate has expired. Without the timestamping, your signature and the certificate will expire, making it necessary to buy a new one.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: The EV code signing certificate comes with two-factor authentication where the private key can only be stored on a hardware like a USB device. The software can only be signed by authorized members of your organization who have access to the physical device.
  • Skip the SmartScreen Filter: Software signed with EV level of validation doesn’t require going through the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen reputation filter. By skipping this step altogether, users will see a verified publisher message every time they install your software which boosts their trust and confidence.
  • Universal Compatibility: The EV code signing certificate has universal platform compatibility, which means you don’t need to go for the reissue of the certificate to sign the executable and software code.

Conclusion

EV code signing certificate is the highest level of trust indicator one can get for their digital and software products. Here, we learned what an extended validation certificate is and why organizations should use it for signing their software and executables.

Obtaining the EV code signing certificate entails an extensive vetting process. However, once you complete the verification from the CA, the certificate will act as a mark of guarantee that the software is from a genuine source.

Reference:

https://www.digicert.com/signing/code-signing-certificates

https://aboutssl.org/two-factor-authentication-ev-code-signing-feature/

Techsprohub- team

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