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Let’s Understand the Basics of Digital Signature

Posted last March 10, 2014, 10:51 am in Services report article

Today, everything is becoming digital, even signatures. Well, to someone who has always cherished the experience of signing a document with a special pen, the idea of signatures going digital may not sound so charming. However, once you understand the specialties of digital signature, its benefits and the level of privacy and authenticity it confers, you may feel lured to say a quick goodbye to your pen.


What is a digital signature?

In terms of the objectives or the purpose, a digital signature is no different from a handwritten signature. Like a handwritten signature, a digital signature is intended to assure that a document is authentic, has not been changed since it was created and the signatory takes ownership of the contents of the document. A digital signature is created using sophisticated software that assures highest level of security. From the point of view of legal enforceability, a digital signature is as good as a handwritten signature.

Why do you need a digital signature?

It is not that one cannot do without digital signatures, but the benefits that it serves are so tangible and worthwhile that it makes immense sense for businesses to adopt digital signatures. With the help of digital signatures, one can look forward to having a paperless office, expedite business functions, effortlessly handle huge volume of documentation, and materially save on the operating costs and time.


Besides, digital signatures also enable a safe exchange of information by providing a way to test both the authenticity and the integrity of information exchanged digitally. As information exchange over the internet is growing by leaps and bounds, secure transmission of documents is inevitable for businesses.


Unlike hand written or paper signatures, digital signatures cannot be imitated by someone else, and can be automatically time-stamped. With a digital signature, one can be assured that the original signed message has reached in the same condition, without any changes in format or content.

How does a digital signature work?

A digital signature is an outcome of a complicated algorithm that converts the information or content in a document into a unique code, which is the message digest. The message digest is encrypted by the sender using a digital signature which is embedded into the file and sent to the recipient. Once the intended recipient receives the message, he decrypts the same using a public key.


The fundamental driver for digital signatures is the Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology. The use of PKI technology ensures digital accountability in electronic transaction.


An easier to way to understand digital signature is to look at it as number which is computed using a mathematical formula or an algorithm. The input that goes into the algorithm is the sequence of characters representing the content of the document to be signed and a secret number which is the private key or the signature. The access to the private key is only with the signatory. The private key is accompanied with a matching public key that allows verification of the signature. The public key is provided by your computer to any computer that wants to communicate securely with it. The message or the contents of the document can only be decoded with a public key. Without the public key, the contents of the document will remain encrypted. The output of the mathematical formula or the computed value is the digital signature, which gets attached to the document.


The resulting digital signature can be uniquely associated with the exact document signed, as one of the inputs in the mathematical formula was the sequence of character representing the content of the document. By virtue of the private key that went into the algorithm, the signatory can also be uniquely associated to the document.


The future of digital signatures

Although digital signatures are not very widely adopted today, but in the future, we should see digital signatures replacing hand signatures to a significant extent. The use of handwritten signatures will only remain restricted to special transactions which need to be supported by a face-to-face interaction. We will witness a revolution in the way digital signatures are done, so that business transactions become even more secure and authentic. So, what are you waiting for? Call up your IT Services vendor to help you adopt digital signatures for your business.


Company Bio :-

 Signder, an innovative and comprehensive e-sign and mobile sales documentation software. Do you face problems with digital signing, workflow management and mobile sales management? Signder will resolve all issues in one stroke. You can contact on Facebook, google+, Twitter, Youtube.