EV Code Signing Vs. Regular Code Signing — Difference Explained

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There are two big differences between standard Code Signing and EV Code Signing

Code signing certificates are used by software developers as proof that their product is secure and hasn’t been tampered with. As such, end-users feel more comfortable about downloading and using the product.

When you’re considering code signing, you have two options — regular code signing or EV code signing. The latter of these is a bit more involved, but it has certain specific advantages.

In this article, we’ll discuss the prime differences between regular code signing and EV code signing so you can determine which is suitable for your needs.

What is EV Code Signing?

EV Code Signing, short for Extended Validation Code Signing certificate, entails extensive vetting of the publisher. Additionally, in EV code signing certificates, the private keys are stored externally to prevent any unauthorized use. These are the two big differences between standard code signing and EV.

Benefits of EV Code Signing

The following are the prime benefits of EV Code Signing certificates.

  • User Trust: These days, customers are extremely careful about the software they download. They need some assurance that it’s safe and that it hasn’t been modified by a malicious third-party. Without an EV certificate, the user’s browser might flash a warning that the software isn’t trustworthy. As such, an EV Code Signing certificate can increase user trust and your conversion rates by eliminating all such warnings.
  • Building Reputation: If your product is signed by an EV Code Signing certificate, it is instantly trusted by Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, and all other major platforms and browsers, including Microsoft SmartScreen filter. SmartScreen, in particular, is a notoriously difficult filter to gain reputation with, but EV code signing provides a substantial boost, helping even the newest of developers to get their software trusted.
  • Safety: A physical token is required to sign code in order to prevent any unauthorized use or certificate abuse. This means that keys don’t need to be kept on your network, making their security much more robust.

What is Regular Code Signing?

Non-EV Code Signing certificates are issued after a standard vetting of the publisher. In this case, the certificate is issued quickly and the private key is stored locally in the developer’s workstation. Standard code signing bears a resemblances to Organization Validated SSL.

EV Code Signing Vs. Regular Code Signing

EV Code Signing Regular Code Signing
It’s only issued after a thorough vetting of the publisher
in strict accordance with CA/Brower forum guidelines.
Has a fairly simple and standard vetting process.
The private key must be stored in an external hardware token,
thus preventing any unauthorized personnel from accessing them.
The private key is stored in the developer’s workstation.
Builds instant trust with Microsoft SmartScreen filter. Does not build instant trust with Microsoft SmartScreen filter.
Read More on EV Code Signing Read More on Regular Code Signing

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All things considered, if you want to enhance your conversions, EV Code Signing is the way to go. The additional cost of the certificate is a small price to pay for building instant trust across all online browsers and platforms.

Other Code Signing Resources

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