Why You Need an EV Code Signing Certificate for Your Software

In the world of software development, trust and security are paramount. Code signing certificates play a crucial role in establishing trust and ensuring the integrity of your software. While there are various types of code signing certificates available, this blog will dive deep into the advantages of Extended Validation (EV) code signing certificates and why they are essential for software publishers.

The Basics of Code Signing Certificates

Before delving into the advantages of EV code signing certificates, let’s briefly understand what code signing certificates are and why they are necessary.

Code signing certificates serve the following primary purposes:

Authentication: Code signing certificates verify the identity of the software publisher. When a user installs software, the certificate ensures that it indeed comes from a trusted source.

Integrity: Code signing certificates prevent the unauthorized modification of software during distribution. Users can trust that the code has not been tampered with between the time it was signed and when they download it.

Non-repudiation: Code signing certificates provide a level of non-repudiation, which means that the software publisher cannot deny their association with the signed code.

Understanding EV Code Signing Certificates

Extended Validation (EV) code signing certificates are a specific type of code signing certificate that provides a higher level of trust and security compared to standard certificates. Here’s a closer look at what sets EV certificates apart:

1. Stringent Validation

EV certificates go through a rigorous validation process, ensuring that the software publisher’s identity is thoroughly vetted. This process typically involves verifying legal documents, checking the publisher’s physical location, and confirming that they have the legal right to sign code on behalf of the organization.

2. The Green Bar

One of the most recognizable features of EV certificates is the appearance of the browser’s address bar. When a user encounters software signed with an EV certificate, the address bar typically turns green, signaling the highest level of trust. This visual indicator helps users easily distinguish legitimate software from potentially harmful applications.

3. Enhanced User Trust

The green bar and rigorous validation process instill a higher degree of trust in users. They are more likely to download and install software signed with an EV certificate because they know it comes from a reputable source.

4. Protection Against Malware and Phishing

EV certificates are an effective defense against malware and phishing attacks. They make it significantly more challenging for cybercriminals to create malicious software or websites that appear trustworthy.

Advantages of EV Code Signing Certificates

Now, let’s explore the numerous advantages of using EV code signing certificates for your software:

1. Enhanced User Trust

EV certificates inspire confidence in users. When they see the green address bar, they know they can trust the software, leading to higher installation rates and user satisfaction.

2. Competitive Advantage

In a crowded marketplace, standing out is crucial. EV certificates can set your software apart by signaling a commitment to security and user trust. This can be a significant advantage when vying for users’ attention.

3. Protection from Reputation Damage

Malware and phishing attacks can significantly damage your brand’s reputation. By using EV certificates, you reduce the risk of users encountering malicious software falsely associated with your brand.

4. Compliance with Industry Standards

Many industries and organizations have stringent security requirements. EV certificates help you meet these standards and demonstrate your commitment to security, making it easier to do business with enterprise clients.

5. Strong Defense Against Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

EV certificates provide robust protection against man-in-the-middle attacks, where attackers intercept communication between your software and its users. The green bar assures users that they are communicating directly with your trusted software.

6. Improved Download Rates

EV certificates can lead to a higher percentage of successful software downloads because users are more likely to trust your product.

Balancing Cost and Benefit

It’s important to acknowledge that EV code signing certificates typically come at a higher cost compared to standard code signing certificates. However, the benefits they offer often outweigh the initial investment. Nonetheless, software publishers need to find the right balance between cost and benefit. Here are some considerations:

1. The Value of Trust

Trust is an invaluable asset in the software industry. A single security breach or malware incident can lead to a massive loss of trust, costing your brand significantly. EV certificates help you build and maintain this trust.

2. Target Audience

Consider your target audience and the importance of trust within your niche. If you’re developing software for enterprises, government agencies, or any sector where trust is paramount, EV certificates are almost a necessity.

3. Cost Savings in the Long Run

While EV certificates may seem costly upfront, they can lead to cost savings in the long run. Preventing security incidents, malware attacks, and the associated reputational damage can ultimately save you money.

4. Competitive Advantage

EV certificates can help you stand out in a competitive market, potentially increasing your software’s success and user base.

Obtaining an EV Code Signing Certificate

To obtain an EV code signing certificate, follow these steps:

Select a Trusted Certificate Authority (CA): Choose a reputable CA that offers EV code signing certificates.

Prepare for Validation: Be prepared to provide comprehensive documentation about your organization, including legal documents, contact information, and proof of rights to sign code on behalf of your organization.

Submit the Application: Fill out the application form provided by the CA and submit your documents for validation.

Validation Process: The CA will review your application and documents to verify your identity and organization’s legitimacy.

Certificate Issuance: Once the CA completes the validation process, they will issue your EV code signing certificate.

Installation: Install the certificate on your code signing system and use it to sign your software.


In conclusion, Extended Validation (EV) code signing certificates are an invaluable asset for software publishers. They provide a higher level of trust, enhance user confidence, protect against malicious threats, and offer a competitive advantage in the crowded software market.

While EV certificates may come at a higher initial cost, the benefits they provide far outweigh the investment. Trust is paramount in the software industry, and EV certificates are a powerful tool for establishing and maintaining that trust.

In the age of heightened cybersecurity threats and increasing user awareness of online security, EV certificates are more relevant and necessary than ever. When considering the security and reputation of your software, EV code signing certificates are a wise choice.

Remember, it’s not just about obtaining a code signing certificate; it’s about securing your software, your users, and your brand’s reputation. In a world where trust is everything, EV code signing certificates are an investment you can’t afford to skip.

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