What is the difference between Electronic Signature and
Digital Signature is the subset of the Electronic Signatures.
Digital Signatures and Electronic Signatures have extremely
different security properties. An Electronic Signature
refers to a signature on an electronic document. It is
equivalent to handwritten signature on paper. As per the
Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) an electronic
signature is "an electronic sound, symbol, or process,
attached to or logically associated with a record and
executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign
the record". Digital Signatures leverage the underlying
PKI infrastructure to provide signing and encryption for
documents. While the PKI deals with creation of key pairs
and issue / management of digital certificates, digital
signature technology deals with use of these keys for
various security functions from within the applications.
4. What are the benefits
of using Digital Signatures to sign the electronic documents?
The Digital Signatures have various advantages over the
handwritten signatures. The digital signatures allow conversion
of processes and transactions to electronic mode thereby
reducing time, costs and efforts required for creating
and maintaining physical records. More importantly the
Digital Signatures are used for maintaining data integrity,
as the messages or documents cannot be changed after signing.
They also provide authentication, i.e. the receiver of
a document or communication is assured of the signer authenticity.
5. Are the Digital
Signatures as legally valid as the handwritten signatures?
If any changes are made to the electronically signed documents,
it immediately invalidates the signature. Digital Signatures
can be used to authenticate the source of messages, i.e.
to assure the receiver that the message has been sent
by the authorized source only as it protects the electronic
document from forgery.
What are the laws and standards pertaining to Digital
Signatures in different parts of the world?
Many countries have enacted laws and regulations related
to the electronic signatures and digital signatures. Many
laws have been enacted to promote the use of digital signatures.
E-Lock Digital Signature solutions are compliant with
these e-signatures laws.
US E-Sign Act
Use of S/MIME as a security measure for online communication
The Hetitleh Insurance Portability and Accountability
21 CFR Part 11(a regulation governing the use of electronic
signatures within the pharmaceutical industry)
Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA)
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