All about Electronic Signatures
Anyone who is new to this area could feel confused easily on what electronic signature is all about and to how different kinds of e-signature differs in relation to legality and evidential power. At basic level, mark on electronic document can actually be used to capture the objective of the signer to accept or approve the content of that particular document. The form of mark or how it’s created isn’t what is important. Rather, the most important part is to prove who have made the mark and that the document wasn’t changed.
As you read this article, you are going to learn about the types of electronic signatures used in today’s time.
Number 1. Click-to-Sign signatures – in most cases, this consists of scanned images, typed names, e-squiggles as well as tick boxes. When using this category of signature, there isn’t cryptographic protection for the document. With this being said, these signatures are not enough to provide strong evidence of who have really signed or protect the doc from further changes. It may be that they’re cut and pasted from a different document.
Number 2. Basic electronic signature – in this type of e-signature, it needs the signer to apply their hand signature mark on document and then, it would be protected with cryptographic digital signature. With basic e-signatures, it is creating crypto digital signature using the server held signing key such as belonging to a service provider organization. Because of this, this was also called as “Witness” digital signature.
Number 3. Qualified and advanced e-signatures – AES and QES or Advanced Electronic Signature and Qualified Electronic Signature respectively are providing the highest level of assurance and trust because these are one of a kind signing keys for each and every signer. This is linking directly to the user’s identity to signed document in a way that anyone will be able to verify it on their own by making use of industry standard PDF reader. You have to be mindful as well that these are also known as digital signatures than e-signatures.
Not only that, as the signer has a sole control of their private signing key, this guarantees non-repudiation, even if the service provider can’t be responsible for the creation of signature. There are numerous benefits that can be acquired from remote signing such as the ability of signing from any machine without using specialist devices similar to hardware tokens, readers and smartcards.
QES are actually the more trusted version of AES as it requires higher level of security to protect the signing key of the user and at the same time, a formal registration process in verifying their identity via qualified Certificate Authority.