Manage Code Signing Certificate Expiration
One of the frequently faced issues with Microsoft Authenticode certificates is how to manage expiration? We have answers to your questions.
What is Code Signing expiration?
The code signing is temporal. The relevance of certificates is only up to a period specified. This is a huge overhead for any growing or established technology organization. It is not always possible to manually manage numerous certificates. There is often a high probability of missing renewing a few, Code signing certificates, such as SSL/TLS or other x.509 digital certificates, do not have an infinite lifespan.
No matter how big or small your business is, as an enterprise with several applications running and interacting with one another, it is not a good idea to manage the certificate renewal manually. This could harm your day-to-day operations. This is also not a core activity that brings business but an essential one to keep your business running full steam.
How to avoid expired Code Signing Certificate issues?
Programs and products without a valid code signing certificate raise credibility questions.
The good news is, if you have timestamped your software, then your digital certificate’s expiry date does not impact your business or users adversely. The Unknown Publisher notification does not appear for programs that are timestamped. Code signing certificates are valid for the period you chose. Post expiation, the ability to create new signatures is affected, the past signatures remain valid if you used a timestamp.
Read the following salient features before buying a Code Signing Certificate
- The code signing certificate is used for software programs, scripts, drivers, or exe files.
- The validity of the certificate is limited and it may range from one to three years depending upon your purchase preference.
- The certificates are for big technology organizations to individual software developers or freelancers.
What can you do to keep Code Signing Certificates up to date?
For starters, get into the habit of timestamping your software programs. It is the best practice if you ardently follow this, then even when the code signing certificates expire, the code remains trustworthy. Your applications will work without a glitch, also passing the scanning by antivirus programs. The Timestamping process significantly enhances the customer trust and experience on the enterprise solutions offered by your organization.
If you have not digitally timed stamped your code, then you can either purchase a new code signing certificate or renew the existing. Assess the cost and choose the option that suits you the best.
Ensure that you renew your certificates before time, this way you will avoid running through the process of purchasing, validating, and installing all over again. To do so touch base with your certificate authority (CA) to renewing your existing certificates before time.
You can also opt to purchase a new CA but then you will have to go through the process of validation with the new CA. The following CAs are the top-ranked CA providing the code signing certificates:
- Sectigo (formerly Comodo)
- Entrust Data card
Do your due diligence, find offers that suit your needs, and choose the CA you want to purchase the certificate from. After purchasing the certificate, validate the certificate before using it. The validation is necessary as it helped ascertain the fact that the certificate is being used by a trusted and legitimate organization. Based on the certificate chosen by you, the validation is run for an organization and individual.
- Official documents such as registration details, such as a letter from legal authorities.
- The CA is also responsible for verifying your physical set up provided in the location details. The verification helps to establish your identity as mentioned.
- A telephonic verification is conducted to verify the contact details. Verifying the presence of contact using third-party directories, online telephone directory, etc.
- The above verification is finally concluded with a final telephonic verification, which a call to the number provided to the CA. This is done to further establish that contact and physical location are a match.
Install the Code Signing Certificate
After the first two stages are completed successfully, you can start installing the certificate.
There will be a mail-in your inbox from the CA, open the mail and click the link provided to install in the certificate store. You have the option of either using *pfx files type for windows or *.p12 for Apple Mac. To create and install the code signing certificate, click Generate Certificate.