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When protecting their web presence, most individuals need clarification on the difference between SSL and code signing certificates and wonder if they can be used interchangeably. The answer is NO.
Although both code signing and SSL/TLS certificates use public-key encryption, there are notable differences between the two. The critical difference between the two is that although SSL certificates ensure website security, code-signing certificates are committed to protecting software code integrity.
Let’s discuss code signing certificates with TLS/SSL certificates in more detail.
Code Signing Certificates are created when you need to sign executable files, drivers, software, scripts, and drivers. The verified publisher’s name is displayed when a user downloads software, and the code has stayed the same since it was signed.
If the code is not signed, the user will see a warning notice while downloading the software. if the code is not properly signed, the system/software will send a warning similar to the one shown in the following image:
Users are becoming more concerned about internet security since malicious or unauthorized software can compromise systems. As a result, people are increasingly searching for secure downloads from trustworthy publishers.
Code signing certificate fulfills two significant objectives:
Validation: It shows evidence that a confirmed trustworthy publisher created the code.
Code Integrity: A code signing certificate prevents any third party from changing or tampering with the code that powers software or an application.
It is recommended to include a timestamp in your signature since it notifies the system that decodes your signature that the code was signed during the period when the code signing certificate was valid.
Your signed software or code is ready to be sent to potential consumers. Your code signature will be seen when a customer downloads the application.
The SSL certificate encrypts all communication between the user’s browser and the server. The data between the two systems remains secure since a third party cannot intercept it.
The certificate verifies a company’s identification in some SSL certificate kinds, such as EV SSL and Organization Validation certificates. The phone number, physical address of the company, and information regarding government registration are all part of the identification verification.
You may have three options when choosing an SSL certificate to purchase:
|S.No||SSL/TLS certificate||Code Signing Certificate|
|1||SSL/TLS certificate is for websites||The code signing certificate covers downloadable scripts, programs, and executables.|
|2||Certera, Sectigo, Thawte, DigiCert are renowned certificate authorities.||Certera, Sectigo, and DigiCert are well-known certificate authorities.|
|3||Domain Validation (DV), Organisation Validation (OV), and Extended Validation (EV) are considered validation types.||Standard Validation and Extended Validation are two different methods of validation.|
|4||Communication between two devices (a browser and a server) is encrypted.||It does not encrypt the code but rather hashes the scripts and publisher signature.|
|5||The website will lose encryption if the certificate expires. Until the certificate is renewed, a warning notice will be displayed on the web browser.||The system will display a security warning while downloading software if the certificate expires and will do so until it is renewed.|
|6||Starts at $2.99/Year||Starts at $199.99/Year|
Users nowadays are aware that visiting unsecured websites or downloading unauthorized software might lead to system infiltration. Therefore, it is essential to use secure communication and secure downloading from reliable sources.
The comparisons provided above that highlight the distinctions between code-signing certificates and SSL certificates highlight the importance of each certificate in its unique way.