Most code publishers must be keen when choosing a code signing certificate provider. They must distinguish between a reliable provider and a newcomer. It is critical, among the few things software teams must not skip. Signing certificates helps users know if there are any changes to the software after the signing process. Most tech companies buy code signing certificate from well-known certificate authorities.
The authorities handle the majority of the code-signing certificates for individuals and companies. Users must consider different factors other than price when buying them. In this guide, we will discuss several factors users should consider when choosing a Code Signing certificate.
One must consider many factors when choosing a Code Signing certificate. Most of them are easy to implement, or you can consult the team members for more information about other providers. We will discuss eight factors to consider when selecting your provider.
Most code-signing certificates expire after three years, which makes the certificate invalid. It makes it hard to use it for signing any new code or makes the existing code insecure due to its invalidity. That is when you use time stamping to make the code safe and valid even after the three years.
Stamping allows you not to run into any issues when running your software. Ensure you select a provider that supports time stamping at no extra cost.
There are many providers currently in the market. You must be keen to select the one that meets your budget and can even provide extra features like a faster validation process, document signing, signing requests, and all required procedures.
You must also ensure that it meets your set budget. It does not mean you select any provider. Many resellers and affiliates out here promote companies that sell certificates. Sometimes their price can be very high beyond your budget. Do enough research to avoid spending on unnecessary certificates, especially when it is your first time?
When dealing with security, ensure you have enough trust with the provider. Ensure the certificate you select and rely on has good trust among your clients worldwide. It assures clients that you care about their security and that many will enjoy using your code. You can check the trustworthiness of each brand using the following factors:
- Do they have any credibility in the industry?
- Are they compliant with Certificate Practice Statement?
- Have they gone through different audits like WebTrust?
DigiCert, Comodo, and Verisign are the biggest trust brands for providing Code Signing certificates.
Ensure your provider has policies and implements all the latest security standards. Ensure they use all the latest encryption technology and algorithms. Standard algorithms include a hashing algorithm with other variants like Secure Hash Algorithm, Message Digest (MD), WHIRLPOOL, and RIPEMD.
You can check if your provider meets the requirement by visiting the company providers to see if they have content dealing with client security. Having the latest security standards improves trust and assures you of using the best provider.
Before purchasing, read all customer reviews about different providers to see how they conduct business. Understand how they respond to customer queries and how long you get after-sales service. After enough research, choose a provider with 24/7 customer support and replies to issues quickly.
It allows you to get support any time you fall into issues. Most providers have customer care desks that are very knowledgeable about code signing certificates, and this promotes faster feedback.
Under Windows Operating System, Microsoft has several certificate issuers under their Trusted Root Certificate program. It ensures the certificate works well on Windows when installed by the user. Your provider’s participation in the program shows they meet all the best security policies and standards, making them a safe option.
It also fastens the validation experience, which improves the user experience. If your issuer is not in the program, you may face issues when users start using your software.
There are two types of software developers: individuals and companies. Companies do most of the development and distribute the software as a team, while individuals work for themselves. After understanding your category, locate the provider with different certificates accordion to the client’s demand.
For example, an individual needs Individual Code Signing Certificate to protect their code. You must ensure that your provider offer such cert. Large companies go for OV and EV code signing certificates, as they are large and work well for large projects and offers higher authentication. They are safe and have enough security to protect the users. Each company should have two options. However, an individual or organization does not need to pay higher prices as a single cheap Code Signing certificate can fulfill such demand.
You should ensure the provider certificates perform very fast and are scalable. It ensures that in case of new requirements or updates, there is no effect on the overall performance. There are many cases of software developers shipping their products fast into the market (DevOps). Ensure the provider makes it easier to integrate the certificate with your existing integrations.
Most users believe that you must be an expert when buying a Code Signing certificate, something meant for professionals alone, like cybersecurity experts. That is not the case, all you need to do is follow the abovementioned factors and conduct good research. You must pay maximum attention to the factors to ensure nothing is missing. If you have any other questions concerning aspects to consider when choosing a Code Signing certificate, let us know in the comments section.