Digital signatures are enabled by proven public critical infrastructure (PKI) technology and are widely recognized as good practice for digital electronic transactions. Digital signatures provide “irreversibility” – the ability to identify the author and determine whether the document modifying since it was digitally signed
This feature is handy for workflow processes that require one or more approvals, such as B. supply chain management or financial management of forms such as expense reports. Digital signatures give customers, citizens, and consumers the assurance that the material comes from the originating organization.
Depending on the organization’s needs, Entrust can assist you with various solutions for implementing digital signatures. Entrust Certificates for Adobe CDS can be used to sign Entrust document signing certificates. In contrast, Entrust Managed Services PKI digital certificates can mark a variety of formats and include authentication and encryption functions. Entrust also offers secure electronic account statements through the Intelligence product portfolio.
We are all familiar with paper signatures – a handwritten signature on a paper document. In addition to the legal and contractual aspects, the essential properties of a paper signature are:
- it is intend to be associat with a specific person;
- it usually indicates an obligation linked to a particular document, the exact meaning depending on the context.
Concerning this document. While far from perfect, paper signatures surprisingly serve as the basis for business and legal transactions in many parts of the world. Companies have learned to use paper signatures in circumstances where a physical mark on a paper document, supplemented with adequate controls and context, provides sufficient traceable evidence of an obligation on the part of the marking party to the company. Evidence is essential to reconstruct the facts in the rare cases of subsequent disputes.
How Does A Digital Signature Work?
Digital signatures bases on critical public infrastructure. This mechanism generates two keys, a public and a private key. The private key kept by the signer and must keep safe. On the other hand, the recipient must have the public key to decrypt the message.
For example, Charlie wants to send an encrypted message to Lisbon. As mentioned above, Charlie needs a private key to sign the statement digitally.
Before encrypting the message with the private key, an algorithm called the “MD Algorithm” encrypts the message Charlie sends in a 128/256-bit format called a hash value. Then Charlie’s private key encrypts this hash value. Charlie’s letter would be digitally sign at the end of both processes.
The digitally signed message decrypts to use the signer’s public key on the Lisbon side. The public key decrypts the message and converts it to another hash value. Then the program used to open the message compares this hash value with the original hash value generated on Charlie’s side.
Digital Signatures: The Way Forward
The increase in data manipulation incidents has led to a clear upward trend in accepting digital signatures. Recent research by Credence Research Inc. shows that the global digital signature market will grow by an impressive 24.2% CAGR from 2017 to 2025. In addition, digital signatures are equivalent to handwritten signatures in many countries. For example, the US government uses digital signatures to authenticate digital versions of documents.
Given the benefits and potential dangers involved, it’s safe to say that digitally signing is the way to go.
Also Read: How to Protect Data on your Computer
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