Electronic signatures, also called e-signatures, can be digitized images or typed names of handwritten signatures. Thus, electronic signatures are extremely tricky when sustaining security and integrity, because nothing prevents a person from typing the name of another person. Because of this reality, e-signatures that don’t integrate extra security measures are regarded as vulnerable ways of signing documentations.
The Digital Signature and Its Difference from Electronic Signatures
Digital signatures are standard e-signatures that take the notion of customary paper-based signing that is then converted into electronic fingerprints or coded messages, which are distinctive to both documents and signers and join them together. The digital signature ensures the signer genuineness. Any alterations made to a document after signing it discredit the signature, thus protecting against information altering and signature forgery. In essence, digital signatures support organizations in upholding signer authenticity, data integrity, accountability, and the acceptance of a signed form or document.
Digital signatures usually described as standard or advanced e-signatures, fall into one sub-group of e-signatures that delivers the top levels of worldwide acceptance and security. A digital signature is based on PKI or Public Key Infrastructure technology, and ensures data integrity, signer intent and identity, and the acceptance of a signed document. Digital signatures cannot be imitated, altered or tampered with. Moreover, as the digital signature is based on PKI technology, it can be authenticated by anybody without using proprietary verification software. Conversely, electronic signatures are proprietary formats that can be symbols, voiceprints, digitized images of handwritten signatures, and more, used for identifying the authors of electronic messages. E-signatures are susceptible to imitating and altering, and induce forgery. Oftentimes, the e-signature is not authentically binding and is going to have need of proprietary in order to validate the electronic signature.
Reasons why electronic signatures are adopted by companies
The companies in the United States are estimated to copy or print 30 billion paper-based documents every year. When the costs of scanning, copying, routing, archiving and recovering lost documents are factored, every paper-based signature costs about 6.50 USD. On average, the authorized staffs sign about 500 documents every year at $3,250. The digital signature solution is implemented by organization in order to computerize and speed up any business process, enhance collaboration and efficiency, reduce operation costs, focus on limit liability and legal amenability, become environmentally friendly.
Tips for choosing an e-signature solution
There are things that should be considered when selecting an e-signature solution that’s going to make the most of the business advantages of transferring to the paperless environment. A few of such important considerations include:
- Some solutions are offering a non-standard e-signature, which can be altered and is illegitimately binding. It’s ideal to select a PKI technology-based solution to ensure the legal compliance and truthfulness of a document.
- Assess the regulations in your industry to make certain that the e-signature solution addresses every industry prerequisite.
- There are solutions that offer e-signature support for PDF or MSWord documents only. Seek out an e-signature solution that takes every application so as to address present and future requirements of businesses.
- Make sure that the e-signature is a portion of a document. Also, make certain that a signed document may be authenticated by external users without the need of installing proprietary software.