What if someone sitting in Bangladesh hacks your systems in New York and transfer millions of dollars? It sounds like a Hollywood movie, right? But that’s what happened when hackers systematically carried out a cyberattack on Central Bank’s servers from Bangladesh to steal $100 million hacking 32 computers exploiting a flaw in the software security.
As a software developer, there are several vulnerabilities that you need to identify and rectify before hackers can exploit them. However, it’s not the attack itself that hurts your business but the lack of faith among users triggered by such events. Avoiding such events needs reliable software security solutions.
Solutions like code signing certificates can help you avoid security breaches and enable trustworthiness among users. It allows your users to ensure that the software is genuine and safe to use.
Here, we will discuss why using a code signing certificate can benefit software developers. But, first, let’s understand how it works.
Code Signing Certificate: The Right Security Your Software Need
Downloading software that is either hacked or corrupted can impact the safety of a user’s device. Installing software from an unknown source is just like handing over your one-time password to some man-in-the-middle attacker who can use your credentials for malicious activity.
Code signing certificate ensures that the software code is not compromised during the downloading process or deployment on a platform by software developers. Code signing at its core is a process of digitally signing code scripts to confirm the identity of developers who have published the software.
Certification Authorities(CAs) verify the identity of software developers and assign public jets to such information through a code signing certificate. It allows users to validate code signatures and ensure that the software is genuine.
Let’s understand how all of these processes work to ensure software security.
The process for code signing certificates
- Software publishers need to generate private-public key pair for their software.
- Submit the public key to CA with a request to provide a code signing certificate
- CA verifies publishers’ identities and authenticates the request for a digital signature.
- On successful authentication of the software publisher’s identity, it binds the information to a public key and digitally signs the certificate.
- The publisher can sign the software code with such a certificate by adding critical information to the original file with executables.
- Users can authenticate additional information code signed by the publisher to validate the identity and download the software.
So, the next question that will come to your mind is additional information that users leverage for validations- what is it?
While encrypting your software code for security is an excellent option, you need hashing if you need an advanced solution that is resilient against cyber attacks. It is a process of converting your data into an array of string values that is hard to break or hack. A hashing algorithm enables you to convert information into a hash.
Such a hash is essential for the digital signing process as it is highly secure. First, it is passed into a signing algorithm through a private key. Then, the publisher’s data and CA’s information are fetched from the code signing certificate to be incorporated into the digital signature.
A public key for verifying the code by the user is added to the bundle, and your software is ready for distribution. Users can extract hashed code from the bundle using a publisher’s code and the original code to validate.
Now that we know how it works, let’s discuss some of the key benefits of using code signing certificates for your software.
Top benefits of code signing certificates
From better software security to higher user trust, the code signing process allows you to achieve several essential benefits not just to provide a secure experience but improve ROI.
Higher trust for better returns
User’s trust is one of the essential aspects that every business needs to consider whether they are publishing software or any other product. Especially for software publishers, trustworthiness means higher ROI.
For example, a Forbes report suggests that Software as a Service(SaaS) companies have suffered losses of up to $180 billion due to a lack of user’s trust. So, there is no denying that the user’s trust may make or break your business. A code signing certificate can help you ensure trustworthiness and improve your returns through higher software sales.
You can assert your authenticity as a software developer with a code signing certificate. It allows you to improve your reputation and establish your organization as a trusted source for software experience.
Improving the reputation of your software brand not only attracts customers directly but also places you as a trusted partner for other businesses. So, B2B companies looking to leverage secure software for their clients will consider you a viable option due to enhanced software security.
As a software developer, you need to take care of the platform’s requirements for the deployment of your products. From Apple’s iOS, macOS, and Google’s Android to the Windows platform, each has specific security requirements that you need to fulfill for software deployments.
A code signing certificate helps you secure your software and comply with the specific requirements of such platforms. In addition, its extended support for several platforms, including Java, Adobe AIR, Linux, and others, allows software developers to deploy secure cross-platform.
Secure user experience
Having excellent navigational capabilities and exquisite software design can attract users, but for a secure experience, you need reliable safety measures. This is where a code signing certificate can help your software through safe user experiences.
A secure experience for your software ensures higher conversion rates and means that you will have lower churn rates. A conversion rate measures how much users download or purchase through your software, and churn rates indicate user attrition.
With advanced technology innovations, hackers are also changing their ways to execute cyber-attacks. Software developers need an equally advanced security solution to tackle such cyber threats.
A code signing certificate allows your users to validate the software’s integrity and whether you are a trustworthy software developer or not. Using the code signing process to your advantage means better security, higher revenues, and a secure experience.
However, choosing CA for the certification process will depend on your security needs, budget, and other factors.