Code Signing Certificate for SaaS: Everything you need to Know

Have you ever received a warning sign from your device when you downloaded or installed an application? Yes, that sign indicates an app is not secure for your device. However, if you are a developer-”it is worrisome!”

So, what is the way out?

Its simple- code-sign your applications! A Code Signing certificate allows Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses to authenticate their identity for users. In other words, when users install your apps, there are no warning signs. SaaS businesses deliver apps and software over the internet as a service, which makes code security a critical aspect. 

However, Code Signing has more to offer for SaaS software security. An example is the DDOS attack on Google Cloud Armour users at the peak of 46 million requests per second. A 69-minute-long attack almost stumped Google’s cloud offering. 

A code signing certificate can help SaaS businesses avoid such attacks. We will discuss code signing and installation. It can help secure SaaS software.

What is Code Signing Certificate?

When users download software or application on their devices, it is essential to ensure that the source code is safe. A Code Signing certificate provides that assurance for users by verifying a publisher’s identity and ensuring that the code is intact. 

A Code Signing certificate can be used to verify the identity of an entity, such as an application or website. The certificate authorizes a Certificate Authority to sign digital certificates on behalf of the holder. Certificates are often used to sign software or other digital files. 

So, how do you get a Code Signing certificate?

SaaS businesses can get code signing certificate by submitting Certificate Signing Request (CSR), which will include all the details for the verification process. For example, you need to provide details regarding your business location, company registration, legitimacy, and more based on the certificate type. 

Once you submit the CSR, the certificate authority (CA) verifies your details and issues a certificate. You can use these certificates to code-sign deliverables for better software security. 

How Does Code Signing Work to Secure Your SaaS Software?

Code Signing Certificate

SaaS businesses deliver apps over the internet as a service, but users can access them on their devices. However, the software is not code-signed, and users’ data can be exposed if the software is not code-signed. 

Code signing is a process that uses certificates, public-key cryptography, and signature verification to allow software publishers or developers to sign files with their private keys digitally. In other words, Code Signing is a security that helps verify the software’s authenticity.  

The code signing certificate encrypts the signature and author information, and it can be verified by verifying the public key.  For example, if you install software from a source that has been code-signed, Windows will ask for permission to create an exception for the installation. 

Even if you access an app over the internet, it will be through a browser. If your apps are not code-signed, browsers will flag warning for the software. Further, SaaS businesses need higher software security for their solutions, or more trust can be required. 

A code signing certificate can help SaaS businesses avoid such security warnings. However, how does Code Signing work to secure your software? 

Code Signing: A cryptographic encryption process!

Code Signing uses cryptographic encryption to sign a file or executable with a digital signature. These algorithm-based checks verify that the authorized person has created the object. In other words, it is like an assurance certificate for users that the software is legitimate and secure to download.

When you digitally sign apps, you create an encrypted version. You can use your private key to decrypt the contents. Then, you can compare this decrypted file against the original signed content to determine whether they are identical. This is crucial to decide whether your code integrity is intact. 

You can code sign executables using any application that supports signing, including Microsoft Windows Installer, Apple MacOS X Installer, and Linux RPM/deb Package Management tools. Once you create a digital signature, it can be stored in an encrypted form on hardware secure Module. 

To ensure the authenticity of their applications and documents before distribution, software publishers and developers use code signatures extensively. A digital signature can also be used to help ensure the authenticity of communications between parties and authentication tokens.

Code Signing Certificate Benefits for SaaS Software

Code Signing Certificate

For better security, you can use Code Signing certificates for internal and external apps. Further, SaaS businesses can also ensure software security for third-party integrations. When third-party services access the data through APIs, security becomes critical and cryptographic encryptions from code-signed apps protect against cyber-attacks. 

Some other Code Signing Certificate benefits that SaaS businesses can have are 

  • Improved trust- 

A valid Code Signing certificate assures customers that software is safe to download. And it has been verified by a trusted organization.

  • Secures assets- It can help SaaS businesses protect intellectual property and deter unauthorized use of its software to protect their digital asset.
  • Prevent data leaks- Code Signing ensures that the data exchanged between your software interface and the user’s device stay anonymous from hackers ensuring better security.
  • Ensures network security- Software vulnerabilities offer hackers a backdoor to access root admin and take control of the entire network. Code Signing certificates secure the network by scrambling the data on the move and at rest, reducing the risks of attacks on the network. 
  • Better compliance- Most platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS, have stringent security compliance standards, and a Code Signing certificate is one of them. 
  • Protects code integrity- The Code Signing process provides enhanced SaaS software security by ensuring that code is intact when users download and install it on their devices. 

Conclusion 

Regarding SaaS, software security Code Signing is crucial as it ensures higher user trust, data protection, and better compliance. However, if you plan for SaaS security, taking into account signing certificates for your apps is not an option, as major deployment platforms ask for it. So, choose the best CA and suitable certificate to secure your SaaS software. 

Chief Saasologist
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Chief Saasologist

Myself Snehil Prakash aka Chief Saasologist of Howtobuysaas. I am a saas marketer, who loves studying evolving software that is bringing change to the world. Share the same with people via howtobuysaas platform.

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