Difference Between Code Signing Certificate vs SSL Certificate

Lets find out difference between Code Signing Certificate vs SSL Certificate.

When you decide to secure your web presence, a question must have been raised in your mind about customers’ data security. One of the finest solutions for it is digital certificates. Today, we will discuss two types of digital certificates named “Code Signing certificate and SSL certificate”.

However, there is a big difference between these two words. The basic difference is SSL certificate works on website security on the other hand; software code integrity can be preserved with Code Signing certificates.

In this short piece of information, we would like to bring a major difference between a Code Signing certificate vs SSL certificate.

What is a Code Signing Certificate?

When you need to sign software, drivers, scripts, and executables, Code Signing Certificate comes into existence. When a user downloads software, it shows the name of the verified publisher, and the software code has not been altered since it is signed. If the software code is not signed, the user will get a warning while downloading the software. If the code is not signed, the system/software will throw a warning like the below image:

unknown publisher warning

Nowadays, users become more aware of their online security as illegal or unauthorized software may cause penetration into the system. Therefore, safe download with a trusted publisher is now in demand.

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How Code Signing Certificate Works?

Code Signing certificate digitally signs drivers, software APK, macros with robust encryption. executables, drivers, scripts, macros, plug-ins with a strong digital signature. Code Signing ensures that the code is not modified since the certificate authority has signed it. Users will be free from annoying warnings.

On other hand, an SSL certificate is used to encode ongoing information between the server and the browser with strong 256-bit encryption. SSL certificate follows a handshake process where code signing certificate also carries a unique process from purchase to distribution of software.

Both Codesign and SSL certificate processes are explained as follows that will give you an idea of how both works. Let us dive into the simple, step-by-step process of buying, installing and finally using one! Here we go!

  • Buy the right certificate: Choose the right Code Signing certificate for yourself depending on whether you are an organization or an individual. You could also go for the best-in-class EV Code Signing Certificates which are easily available at pocket-friendly prices on ClickSSL.
  • Get your identity verification done by the Certificate Authority: The validation process will be different based on an individual and a company. The certificate authority wants to verify that the claimant entity is an actual entity that they are going to validate. The authority also checks that the business process is fully operational and running in good faith.
  • Install your brand-new certificate: All you need to do is install your certificate on whichever platform you are using.
  • Go on a signing spree! This is the stage at which you incorporate your digital signature. The signing process varies slightly on each platform, but the result is the same. You get to hash a string of data that authenticates your identity and tells whether your code has been tampered with or not.
  • Begin distributing your signed executables: In the last leg of the journey, you can now start distributing your signed software/code to prospective users. When someone attempts to download your software, your unique signature will be displayed. Post hashing, will verify your identity and help to ascertain whether the code has been modified or not since inception.

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL certificate encrypts ongoing information between the server and the user’s browser. No third party can intercept traveling data and thus, the information remains safe between two systems. Moreover, the certificate also verifies the identity of a business in certain types of SSL certificate like EV SSL and Organization Validation certificate. The identity verification includes phone, business’s physical address and government registration details.

How SSL Certificate Works?

Let us dive into the principles behind the workings of an SSL/TLS certificate, without any further ado.

  • The TLS handshake is the foundation of the commencement of secure communication between the two communicating entities. It involves the establishment of secure communication and public key exchanges.
  • During the TLS handshake, the involved parties create session keys that encrypt and decrypt all communications in transit post the TLS handshake.
  • Unique session keys are used to encrypt and decrypt communications for every new session.
  • TLS confirms the identity of the server or the website the user is engaged in conversation with.
  • The chances of data tampering are also eliminated with the generation of a unique MAC (Message Authentication Code) bundled with the communications.

Types of SSL Certificates

When you decided to purchase an SSL certificate, you may have three options:

  • Domain Validation: Domain Validation refers to the authorization of the domain name and does not supply owner information in the certificate.
  • Organization Validation: Organization verifies both domain ownership and the organization’s identity as a customer can see an organization’s details in the certificate.
  • Extended Validation certificate: Extended Validation carries the highest validation including green address bar that can allure visitors and customers about their online credential’s security. It requires business-related documents as well as third-party phone directory verification before issuance of a certificate.
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Difference between Code Signing Certificate & SSL Certificate:

  • Code Signing Certificate is for signing software code while SSL certificate is for securing a website where customers provide login or payment credentials.
  • The cost of a SSL certificate is much lower now days compare to Code signing certificate. Domain validation certificates can be easily available at a cheap price in the market.
  • SSL certificate encrypts ongoing data between the server and the user’s browser so the third party cannot intercept the information. Code signing certificate with hash signs executables, drivers, and software but does not encrypt the information. Hash is like marking a seal on the software.
  • another difference between SSL and Code signing is time-stamping if an SSL certificate expires, the browser shows a warning until it is renewed. While a developer adds timestamping in Code Signing that keeps the digital signature active, even the certificate expires.
  • Website owners use SSL certificates while developers to sign code use Code signing certificates.
  • If we talk about warranty then most certificate providers, offer a warranty on SSL certificates while in the case of Code signing certificates, DigiCert group companies offer a warranty.
  • Code signing certificate serves platforms like Adobe AIR, MS Authenticode, Mac, MS Office and VBA, Sun Java, Silverlight, Windows 8/10, Mozilla while SSL certificate secures domain name.
  • Code signing certificate assures users about code integrity while SSL certificate ensures online transaction security that takes between the server and the user’s browser.

At Last:

We can say that the rising software trend, as well as website security, demands SSL protocol and digital signature so users could get maximum protection. The above comparison also shows the value and importance of both certificates in their respective manner. Assure users by delivering authenticate code as well provide 256-bit strongest website security with SSL certificate.

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