Code Signing Certificate Vs SSL Certificate – All You Need To Know!

SSL Certificate vs Code signing certificate

In today’s world, when the number of cyberattacks is increasing at a rapid pace, both business and customers’ data security has become a top priority for all businesses today. The most common way to enhance cybersecurity is by using digital certificates. Both digital certificates and cryptographic keys help to keep the communication private and secure, solve internet security issues, protect the online data of businesses & users.

For securing web presence, SSL certificates and code signing certificates are important. But most people remain confused about both these certificates and ask, are they interchangeable? The answer is NO. Though both certificates use public-key encryption, there are few differences between both code signing certificates and SSL certificates. Let’s discuss here…


What is a Code-signing certificate?

A code signing certificate is also known as a software signing certificate which ensures the rightfulness of software, code, application, and executables. A code signing certificate is used to sign the code based on public key infrastructure to ensure that it does not get modified or corrupted on the way of a publishing company to the end-user. When the companies distribute their application or download the software from 3rd party sites, a code signing certificate serves as evidence that the software has not been altered when it was downloaded from the internet.

Code signing certificate removes “Unknown Publisher” warning message (as the software is being downloaded from the internet) and displays the name of the organization.

2 key objectives that code signing certificate fulfills:

  1. Validation- It shows that the code has been developed by a verified publisher.
  2. Code integrity– It does not allow any third party to make any changes in the code of the software.


How Does a Code signing certificate work?

  • Firstly, you have to give an application for the code signing certificate to a trusted CA
  • Then, CA verifies the identity and generates 2 keys – a public key and a private key for the software. The public key is used to prove an individual’s identity or organization’s identity and authorize the signature. The private key signs the code or data. Once the process gets completed, CA issues the certificate.
  • Now, by using the private key and encryption techniques you have to develop a one-way hash and incorporate the digital signature into your code.


Code signing certificate

Suggestion: always add a stamp to your signature as it tells the system that the code is being signed and the code signing certificate is valid.

  • Now, you can distribute the signed code or software to your customers/clients. Your code signature will be displayed when the user downloads the software.


SSL Certificate vs Code signing Certificate


What is an SSL/TLS Certificate?

SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer/ Transport Layer Security) Certificate is the most known Digital certificate that is used to have a secured connection between the Web server and Web browser. It helps to protect & secure sensitive user data that is sent across when a secured connection is established by encrypting the data in transit.

Some intangible benefits of SSL certificates are:

  • SSL certificates can help identify genuine websites from fake ones.
  • Users can view a padlock in the address bar which means the SSL certificate is valid and the website is secure to use.
  • s in HTTPS is an indication that the website is trustworthy from a user’s perspective.


How does SSL/TLS work?

  • When a visitor visits a site, the server and web browser communicate with SSL/TLS process and ensures an encrypted secure connection.
  • The browser sends a request to the legitimate server and the server responds with a TLS/SSL certificate along with the public key to the browser.
  • The browser checks the certificate and verifies that it is from a Trusted Certificate Authority.
  • The browser sends the symmetric keys to the server and the server decrypts the key with its private key and sends the acknowledgment in the encrypted form and starts the communication.
  • Now, the browser and server can start secured communication and ensures privacy, the integrity of messages, and server security.


SSL Certificate


Code Signing Certificate and SSL Certificate – The Major Differences!

Code Signing Certificate
SSL Certificate
1. It is used for securing software, applications, etc.


It is responsible for website security.
2. There are two types of validation:

·         Standard validation

·         Extended validation

There are three types of validation:

·      Domain validation

·         Organization validation

·         Extended validation


3. It does not encrypt the data or software but hashes the signature to the publisher. It encrypts the data and provide a secured connection between the server and the browser.


4. If the code signing certificate expires, the system will show the security warning message till the time certificate gets renewed. If the SSL Certificate gets expired, the website will lose its security and the web browser will show a warning message till the time certificate gets renewed.


5. Code signing certificate assures integrity of code. SSL Certificate assures website security and security of online transactions happen between the user and the server.



A secured connection and safe downloading of software are very important to have a secured communication online. The above differences between both the certificates (Code-signing certificate and SSL certificate) highlight their importance in their own way.

If you want to protect your data online and software or have any confusion or query, feel free to Contact JNR Management. Give assurance to your users/customers by serving them authentic software and the strongest online website security with SSL Encryption.

About the Author