A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital document. It’s the digital equivalent of a handwritten signature or stamped seal, but it offers far more inherent security. A digital signature is intended to solve the problem of tampering and impersonation in digital communications.
Digital signatures can provide evidence of origin, identity and status of electronic documents, transactions or digital messages. Signers can also use them to acknowledge informed consent.
In many countries, including the United States, digital signatures are considered legally binding in the same way as traditional handwritten document signatures.
The use of “digital signatures” has exploded during the pandemic. Around the globe, people have changed how they travel, transact, and work. In the manufacturing sector, organizations have gravitated to hybrid work environments. In all of these cases, digital signatures are being used to protect digital interactions and digital assets, from documents to software code. Unfortunately, all of these digital assets remain at risk since the signature’s certificate may have expired or been revoked. Fraudsters can make these certificates appear as though they were still valid. But their changes and forgeries can be combatted using time stamping services that bring trust to digital signatures.
Are digital signatures secure?
Yes, electronic signatures are safe. A common question people have is “Can my digital signature be forged, misused or copied?” The reality is, wet signatures can easily be forged and tampered with, while electronic signatures have many layers of security and authentication built into them, along with court-admissible proof of transaction.
The importance of a security-first approach to e-signatures
The level of e-signature security varies by provider, so it’s important to choose an e-signature provider that has robust security and protection weaved into every area of their business. Those security measures should include:
- Physical security: protects the systems and buildings where the systems reside
- Platform security: safeguards the data and processes that are stored in the systems
- Security certifications/processes: help ensure the provider’s employees and partners follow security and privacy best practices
Until now, digital signatures have been seen as a useful tool solely for internal company purposes. In fact, however, they can be implemented in a number of fields, including online transactions. Digital signatures enable transactions to be safe and smooth for both sellers and customers, as authentication is effective even though it is done digitally. Digital signatures are thus a form of authentication.
Advantages of using digital signatures for online transactions
With such a structured way of working, digital signatures offer distinct advantages in securing online transactions. They are equipped with an ever-evolving array of technologies and advanced security systems. What are these advantages? Check out the list below.
Minimize the risk of payment fraud
Simplify contract execution
Share data more securely
The development of the digital economy is currently a new phenomenon in global economic governance, both in developed and developing countries. The role of digital signatures within this new digital economy is increasingly being felt.
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