How To Create & Verify Digital Signatures Online – Explained

What is Digital Signature

What is Digital Signature?

A digital signature is a specific type of online signature facility that is backed by an e-certificate that provides proof of the signer’s identity. It is a very secure method of digital document approval. It makes use of technology such as hashing algorithms, public key cryptography & encryption to secure e-documents.

Digital signatures utilize the Public Key Cryptography technology. With a public key algorithm, two distinct keys are generated. The pair of keys are mathematically linked & form the private key & public key components of a digital signature.

The security capabilities built into digital signatures prevent business documentation from being manipulated. The cryptography security technology ensures the signatures made on a document are legitimate & the document is untampered.

How To Sign PDFs using Digital Signatures

By following a few steps businesses can easily get their PDFs digitally signed in minutes. To create a digital signature, the user has to first upload the PDF that is to be signed on the digital signature software platform

A one-way hash i.e., a string of letters and numbers with a set length that is produced by an algorithm is provided by the software. The hash, along with a set of public and private keys are created as part of the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC).

DSCs can only be obtained by integrating with a Certifying Authority (CA) that’s been authorized by the Comptroller of Certifying Authorities (CCA). The hash is used to sign the electronic document which is encrypted using the signer’s private key.

The digitally signed PDF is encrypted using the digital signature & secured to be tamper-proof. The signer uses a unique digital identity provided to them to authenticate their credentials & authorize their signature on the document. The encrypted hash, along with other details such as the hashing algorithm form a digital signature on the PDF.

The digitally signed document is, in essence, uniquely encrypted and may be verified using the public key which corresponds to the private key used for encryption.

How To Verify Digital Signatures

The verification process of a digital signature requires a digital signature certificate (DSC) issued by the Certifying Authority (CA) accompanied by their Certificate Revocation List (CRL) & the signer’s public key.

To verify a digital signature on a document, one can make use of the signer’s public key to decrypt the hash accompanying the signature. If the same public key generated by the DSC is used, the encrypted document is decrypted. This process is crucial in helping verify the authenticity of the digital signature. Digital signatures will not be verified if the wrong public key is used for decryption.

Digital signatures are used to ensure the signed data’s authenticity & integrity are conserved. This means that the identity of the signer is confirmed & one can be assured the content on the document was not tampered with since it was digitally signed.

These signatures are used to assure the non-repudiation of the data contained in the signed document. It denotes that the signer cannot deny his/her association with the signed content/document. 

To leverage digital signatures free & use them to eSign PDFs, try out SignDesk’s award-winning digital signature solution. 

Where Are Digital Signatures Useful?

Almost every industry uses digital signatures as a safe & secure means of document authentication. As digital signature technology comes with a high level of security, industries across different sectors utilize them to streamline approval workflows & increase the integrity of key documents. Some of the areas where digital signatures are made use are:

  • Manufacturing Companies: This is a major industry segment that utilizes digital signatures to expedite processes. These online signature solutions are highly beneficial for vendor agreements, sales, marketing, product design, quality assurance & other workflows that fall under manufacturing industries. 
  • Legal Offices: Legal teams have to manage highly sensitive documents on a daily basis making document security preservation crucial for them. Digital signatures come into play here, securing documents with a high level of encryption. 
  • Financial Services: New-age financial transactions rely on quick paperless procedures for various workflows. The use of digital signatures expedites the highly regulated financial process flows such as loan disbursement, mortgages, insurance agreements, etc. 
  • Cryptocurrencies: Digital signatures are also useful for the authentication of cryptocurrency blockchain. They are also used to manage crypto transactions as a means for users to demonstrate their possession of cryptocurrency or involvement in a transaction.
  • Healthcare Industry: Healthcare provider companies & hospitals utilize digital signature workflows to improve administrative process efficiency. The industry can streamline documentation for treatments, surgeries & other procedures through the use of digital signatures. 

Key Features Of Digital Signatures

Digital signature offers various innovative features that help improve the efficiency of the electronic signing process flow.

  • Improved Trackability: Digital signatures are accompanied by audit trail documents that enable easier document verification for internal teams. In addition, digital storage makes way for improved document visibility, which makes for faster traceability of the required documentation. 
  • Time-Stamped Document Creation: Digitally signed documents carry date & time stamps of when the process was carried out. This feature is essential for instances where a document & the data contained in it have to be used for legal proceedings. 
  • Enhanced Workflow Efficiency: Workflows integrated with a digital signature can greatly reduce cluttered paperwork for documentation & approvals. It thereby improves the efficiency & productivity across various process flows that involve document signing. 
  • Legally Compliant Document Validation: Formal agreements that are signed using digital signatures are valid in courts of law. This makes these signatures a compliant & efficient way of authenticating documents. 
  • Reduced Costs: Businesses can cut down costs of paper, files, ink, & devices that they would be needing for traditional wet signature-based document signing. They can also significantly reduce costs related to logistics, storage space & teams that were assigned to manage physical documents. 
  • Saved Time: Organizations can carry out their contract authentication processes faster with the use of digital signatures. The online presence of documents allows for faster, remote approval workflows, quick transfers & faster document access to the required personnel. 

Sign Documents Digitally With SignDesk

Businesses can ensure their sensitive documents like agreements & contracts are securely signed by using digital signatures. Platforms like SignDesk offer a secure digital signature workflow that encrypts the highly sensitive data of enterprises. Try out digital signatures free with a 30-day free trial to see how they can improve the efficiency & security of your documents. 

Industry-grade signature algorithms ensure the confidentiality of information & virtual suit trails assure compliance with jurisdictional laws. Book a free demo to learn how to use digital signatures online & secure your document authentication process.

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