Security is one of the most misunderstood concepts in computing. However, many organizations need security to keep the entire business running. Being able to sign your code is of the best things you can do to making sure that only certain people have the ability to run that code on a platform. For DevOps teams, this is an important thing that they need to understand.
You need to be able to figure out how to sign your code in the correct way, and you also need to know how to make that process work as well as possible for the best results. The types of organizations that need this process are numerous, but it all depends on having an environment that should only execute the right code.
What Is Signing for Code?
Signing code is essentially a way of putting your signature on the code to make sure that the entity running it knows exactly where it came from. It is crucial to do this in embedded environments, as these companies don’t want anyone running code on their platforms.
It is becoming more important in the Internet world, as corporations seek to provide more security for their computers. When it comes to providing security, this is one of the best and smartest things you can do.
It allows you to secure your entire infrastructure easily and affordably without having to put a lot of effort. However, you also need to figure out how to do it in the most efficient way possible. This is where your DevOps team comes in. They are the ones that work with deploying and managing infrastructure, so they need to understand how this process works, so they can do it well.
How Does It Work?
Code signing involves using encryption to obfuscate a piece of code and put your signature on it that cannot change. When the code is run on the target machine, it goes through a process where it is checked to make sure that the signature is valid.
This means there has to be a key exchange between the server the code was signed on and the one it will be running on. These things are all really great, and they will lead to you getting the best results possible in this process. The encryption use depends on how secure the developers want things to be.
How Does It Make Things More Secure?
If you have a new operating system that can only run signed code, then it is going to be a lot more secure than anything else. This is the predominant way that videogame consoles prevent hackers from taking over and running backups.
For example, the Xbox 360 ran a system that included encrypted memory and code signing for all binaries. This meant that every single code that ran on the platform had to be signed by Microsoft. This is one of the many reasons why the Xbox 360 was one of the hardest videogame consoles to hack. Videogame hacking is an interesting parallel to this field because it involves a lot of the same concepts.
As security gets more important in this digital world, we will need a lot more of this technology to make sure that everyone is running secure systems. It is going to be more important than ever for people to have this information.
Introduction to Encryption
Signing binaries involves a lot of encryption. Encryption is essentially a way of scrambling code using mathematical algorithms. You can only unscramble the code if you have the right private key. The person that does the signing will often have a way of undoing what they just did.
Mathematically, these encryption algorithms are almost impossible to break. You would need infinite computing power running for the entire age of the universe to break a significant portion of the algorithms. This is why it is so essential to have these things implemented on all your systems.
You could have a closed system where everything was signed and encrypted. This would enable you to run almost anything you want because it was signed and secured. Encryption is important for your DevOps teams, as it means that their jobs are a lot easier.
Benefits of Hardened Code
The main benefit of hardened code is that they are impossible to break. Your code will not get into the hands of other people, and you will also not have the problem of having your system hacked.
The hacker might get into your system, but they won’t know how to run their own binaries. They can only run something that was signed, so they don’t have access to do anything dangerous. It is also great in embedded applications. When you send out your smart device to the field, you don’t want someone running almost anything on it.
The future of this industry is very bright, as we are getting more complicated algorithms as time goes on. However, computing power is advancing, and we are getting more infrastructure to come online.
Examples of Its Use
The Internet of things and embed applications are two of the most common use cases for this technology. They both involve distributing code to smart devices that the user will have physical access to. This is why it is essential to have encryption built into your continuous integration and deployment services. You can build it into the build process, so the code is signed as soon as it is finished. If you can do this correctly, you are going to be in a much better place.
This technology is going to get more prevalent as time goes on. It was successful in defending most game consoles from hacking, and it will prove to be even more successful for enterprise applications. The main problem is always going to be implementation, but that can be solved with more hardware security. Signing your code can be difficult, but if you know what you’re doing, you will come out with a secured system that is almost impossible to break.