With the quick evolution of the cyber space in our day-to-day routine, we, the human beings, are delving further into this cyber eco-system, and the notion of digital signature is one of them. Now that UIDAI systems are necessary across India, we are delving deeper into this. And the Covid-19 is like a gas in a firework, speeding up the adoption of digital signatures in our daily lives. Whether it’s setting up a demat account for investing or becoming a beneficiary in one of the government’s projects or subsidiaries, we can help.
People are more likely to choose online options over large lines outside of campaign locations or government-designated offices. This encourages the adoption of digital signatures, often known as e-signature, across the country.
A digital signature is similar to a handwritten signature, but it is far more secure. It’s a mathematical technique for verifying the validity and integrity of an electronic message or document. In digital communication, a digital signature ensures the authenticity of an electronic document or message by employing encryption techniques to offer verification of original and unaltered material.
As digital signatures become more widely used, it’s important to understand how they differ from electronic signatures, how they function, and why you should use them.
Difference between electronic signatures and digital signatures:
Though they are often used interchangeably, there is a distinction between electronic and digital signatures. Electronic signatures can be simple symbols or images that represent the signer’s intent to sign, whereas digital signatures are based on widely recognised PKI technology.
A digital signature certificate issued by Certifying Authorities (CAs) is required for signing documents utilising digital signatures. Digital certificates are digital forms of identification that can be compared to identification documents such as passports, driver’s licences, and other similar documents.
Electronic signatures, or e-signatures, on the other hand, are a person’s electronic statement of his or her assent to the provisions of a certain document. Digital certificates are not required for electronic signatures.
Digital signatures are more secure than traditional signatures. Electronic signatures are simple to use, but they are not as safe as digital signatures because they are not governed by security standards. In most nations, digital signatures are accepted and are legally binding in court. Many countries do not accept electronic signatures in court because they require a more secure method of authentication.
Advantages of using digital signatures:
Digital signatures are more secure:
Handwritten signatures, as well as electronic signatures, can easily copied or falsified, whereas digital signatures are protected by cryptographic techniques and cannot be duplicated.
Any alteration to a digitally signed document invalidates the signature, making it impossible to change the document without being detected.
Digital signatures ensure authentication:
Because digital signatures necessitate digital certificates given by a trusted third party, the person is unmistakably identified as who he claims to be.
Digital signatures ensure non-repudiation:
Digital signatures are created utilising a unique set of algorithms contained within a digital certificate granted to signers after certifying authority have completed their due diligence. Signers of digitally signed papers can be identified using the highest level of trust, thus they cannot retract their signatures at any time.
Legal in most nations:
Digital signatures have the same validity as handwritten signatures in countries that have enacted e-signature legislation. Although some of them accept electronic signatures, the majority of them need highly secure digital signatures when signing electronic documents.
Cost effective and efficient:
Businesses and governments are starting to adopt the idea of digitally signing papers in order to go paperless. Going paperless with processes allows them to improve efficiency, cut expenses, and secure documents.
How do digital signatures work?
Digital signatures use a global standard system known as the PKI (Public Key Infrastructure), which uses a mathematical procedure to generate two keys: one public and one private. Both the public key and the private key are mathematically related.
When an electronic file is digitally signed, the signer’s private key is used to establish a unique digital fingerprint (called a hash) of the document. This hash is unique to this specific document. The data in the file is encrypted, and the digital signature is created from the encrypted data. The digital signature would be invalidated if even the tiniest change was made.
The only need for a digital signature is that the signer has a pair of cryptographic keys (Digital signature Certificate). The signer uses his or her private keys (DSC) to sign the document, and the receiver can verify the signature using the signer’s publicly available public keys.
Electronic trust services give business owners a wonderful chance to streamline operations while also improving their reliability. This can only be accomplished if risk assessments are carried out successfully on a case-by-case basis.
Both legal and technical problems must be considered in order to strike a compromise between legal certainty and the requirement to streamline organisational procedures without jeopardising effective risk management.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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