What is Code Signing?
Code signing is the process by which a digital signature is applied to the software or an application. It wraps the software in a plastic wrap that is burned to CD for distribution. The code signer ensures the user of the “signed” software that the software is safe to use and developed by a known software developer and that the code has not been changed since publication.
Code signing performs important operations for all software vendors, which has become necessary for almost every company with the advent of the digital transformation.
Code signing is used by many major operating systems for the authentication of the installed software. Because of technological trends such as mobile applications, DevOps, and IoT devices, the use of code signing has started increasing in a very short period of time.
However the key to signing unsafe code is a real threat: after signing the malware, it will always be legitimate to gullible users. Revocation of the certificate does not necessarily mean that the signed malware is invalid.
What companies should do for their safety?
So, let’s have a look at these best practices with the help of which a company can get rid of the code signing problem.
First of all the code signing activities must be completely visible across the company. For this you must require to understand this critical information’s:
Which code, regardless of whether it is for internal or external use, is being signed.
What code signing certificates are used irrespective of the certification body they issued from, including internally created certificates.
Who has done code signing, in which machine it was signed on, at what time it was signed, and for signing which code signing software was used?
Who has sanctioned the code signing functioning?
Private keys should be shifted away.
In the second step, the private keys should be shifted away from computers, build servers, web servers, and sticky notes of the developer and must be stored in a safe and encrypted place. Storage options must be customized for developers according to the type of certificates that they have signed and are using.
The development team should define their own policies.
Policies should not be built around manual processes. Manual processes will not meet the needs of their projects. Instead of this, you should allow the development teams to define their own code signing policies and workflows.
Reduce the burden of the development team.
Management of code signing infrastructure, requesting code signing certificates and renewals increases the burden of the software development teams. This burden can be reduced by providing the software development team an automated platform that can fulfill their requirements.
Ensure the safety of the code signing process.
It is your responsibility to secure your company’s information, including code signing credentials. It is important to ensure your users that your code signing process is secured across the enterprise. You can ensure the safety of your code signing process by knowing where all private keys are being stored and knowing that policies are always enforced.