In 90s we heard a lot about cyber-crimes and how malicious people present online were involved in practices of fraud and deception to get their hands illegally on your stuff. Past decade witnessed a lot of revolution on the technology front and promised newer shields of protection. Despite the threats of scam and deceit, the use of internet in every domain of life grew beyond expectation.
The Tremendous growth of internet tempted the prospects of online business, so everyone made their way to e-business. Documentation is integral to all business types, and every business has its own set of requirements for data and record keeping. There was a substantial need for document security in case of online business world too.
The issue of online document protection was solved by document signatures. Document signature is a vast terminology that encapsulates all instances of electronic signatures and digital signatures. They are like the electronic substitute of your hand written signatures. They have paved the way towards secure business transactions over the internet.
Sealing a deal or transaction with document signature means that you will have your document safe forever. Using it once renders the document complete protection since any change made to the document after that will nullify the legal standing of the document.
The document is encrypted with encryption algorithm and using a private key that only remains in the possession of the signing person. Later whenever someone needs to verify the authenticity of that document, he or she needs to get the public key associated with that document and verify its integrity. Any unauthorized change can easily be checked as the signature will not verify with the public key.
Alongside online document protection, document signatures are used to bind the digital signature with a specific entity. A strong ownership is established which cannot be denied from either end as the document signatures hold the same legal standing under the court of law as the ordinary signatures. A person who once signed the document using document signature cannot deny having done so because only he posses the private key which signed the document and this private key. To map that a private key belongs to a person, a Certification Authority issues a digital certificate which contains the associated public key and the person to whom it is issued. Public Key is mathematically related to the private key and hence anything encrypted with the private key can only be verified/decrypted with the corresponding public key.
Mechanism that was previously being used for document signing was to sign a document manually and then scan the copy and transport it over the network; anyone could have replicate an exact copy of the hand written signature using manual or digital means. A document signature based on digital signature gives military grade protection to your online files because even if someone succeeds in copying your signature, he or she will never be able to implement them as they don’t hold the private key to replicate new signatures.
Interoperability standards and digital signature legislations which are applicable to document signatures lend a helping hand to securing the online documents. Different set of algorithms are being used by software solutions to implement document signatures. One should be very cautious while picking a solution for online document authentication and do proper research to reach for the solution that fulfills their requirements.
Anna Stacy has in-depth knowledge and experience of electronic signing solutions. Her basic forte lies within process optimization and process re-engineering, and has a long-term obsession with e-signatures . She is a leading source of what’s hot and what’s not in the online digital signature space.