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VBA macro’s in Office365

Cause: VBA code changed outside the validity period of the certificate

VBA macros are small programs that can be used in Microsoft Office applications to automate or simplify tasks. This is one of Fortes’ reporting directions to provide solution to organizations’ issues. Disabling macros completely is not an option for most organizations. However, they can also pose a security risk if they contain malicious code that can damage your system or data. Therefore, by default, Office applications block all VBA macros unless they are digitally signed by a trusted source.

A digital signature is a way to verify the identity and integrity of a VBA macro. It is a type of electronic seal that is added to the macro by the author (in this case Fortes), using a digital certificate. A digital certificate is a file that contains information about the owner of the signature, such as the name, email address and organization. The certificate is issued by a Certification Authority (CA), which is a trusted third party that verifies the identity of the signer. When you try to run a VBA macro that is digitally signed, Office checks the signature and the certificate it was signed with. If the signature is valid and the certificate comes from a trusted CA, the macro is executed. If the signature is invalid or the certificate is not trusted, the macro is blocked.

The validity period of a digital certificate is three years. After the certificate expires, the signed VBA code remains valid! This can reduce interruptions for users. The certificate proves that at the time the macro existed nothing was changed.

The certificate must be replaced within your organization the moment the VBA change is beyond the validity period of the certificate; Fortes will then purchase a new valid certificate, implement the change and notify customers.

How can I obtain and upload a Fortes digital certificate in the trust center?

Follow the following steps to export a Fortes digital certificate

  1. Open the workbook containing the macro;
  2. Press ALT+F11 to open the Visual Basic Editor;
  3. On the Tools menu, click Digital Signature;
  4. Click Detail and export to the desired format
  5. Upload the exported certificate in the trusted store

For more information, please see the link below: https://knowledgebase.fortes-online.com/knowledge-base/excel-vba-macros-digital-certificate/

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