Code Signing Certificates and SSL Certificates – What are the Differences
Both these certificates use Public Key Encryption to secure data but there are more practical differences than similarities between the two. Code signing certificates are for executables and websites but SSL certificates, on the other hand, are for websites. This article details the differences and similarities between code signing certificates and SSL certificates so that you understand which type of certificate you need to use for which purpose.
Similarities Between Code Signing and SSL Certificates
SSL certificates and code signing certificates both:
- are issued by Certificate Authorities
- are digital certificates
- are used for cybersecurity
- use Public Key Encryption and private keys
- require users to go through a validation process before the certificates are issued
- require users to create a Certificate Signing Request
Code Signing Certificates
This way you can make sure that your software is trustworthy and safe for users to download and use.
SSL/TLS Certificates are for Websites
SSLs help in transmitting personal data including credit card details, login information, and other sensitive information. SSL certificates make a website safe to transmit sensitive information by making it hard for hackers to snoop into your personal data and steal information. You can easily find out whether a website is secured with an SSL as you can see a small padlock icon in the address bar if the site is secured with an SSL certificate.
SSL/TLS and Code Signing Cannot Be Interchanged
Now, you might have understood that though there are certain similarities between code signing certificates and SSL certificates, they cannot be interchanged. The certificates are not the same and they are used for different purposes.
The absence of an SSL certificate on a website or code signing in the software will result in users seeing a warning. The issuing Certificate Authority will issue an SSL or a code signing certificate only after it validates the credentials of the applicants. Likewise, both the certificates safeguard the end-users from threats online.
But you cannot use an SSL certificate to sign your software and similarly a code signing certificate cannot be used to encrypt your website.
While both certificates are necessary, they cannot be interchanged as they serve distinct purposes.