Digital Signature acts like a guarantee that the electronic documents and the message sent digitally has not been tampered because of the encryption techniques used. Digital signature is popularly known as electronic signature.
Difference between digital and electronic signature
Digital signature is also a form of electronic signature but the method differs slightly. It uses the certificate-based digital ID to authenticate signer identity. In digital signature, the proof of signing linked together to the document through encryption and the validation of those signature is done with the help of the trusted certificate authorities or Trust service Providers.
Electronic signatures on the other hand deploy the common methods to verify the identity of the users who signed the document with the help of social IDs, emails, PIN, passwords. A simple e-signature uses just a single secure process and single factor authentication whereas the improved once use the multifactor authentication to enhance the security.
Benefits of Digital Signature
Documents are encrypted
Easy to validate
As far as the usage of the Digital Signature is concerned, it is same as that of handwritten signature ie to validate a particular document in the name of the sender. The reason why the handwritten signature is taking backseat compared to the digital signature is because unlike the former, latter cannot be forged. Most of the process including the government process is moving online now and in such a case it becomes important to ensure that the document originate from the valid source and reach the authenticated person. It can be used by various organizations, government and private to ensure the safe transfer of valid documents. If the party wants to ensure that the message has not been altered during the transmission, presence of digital signature would guarantee that. If someone tries to alter the Digitally signed document during the transmission, the signature would be invalidated, thereby making it clear that changes were made. The simple reason behind this is because the cryptographic functionality embedded in the signature would not let the new signature to be made for the same message.
In case the non-repudiation has been activated, the sender is bound to digitally sign the message at a later date. Further, any unauthorized person would not be able to create a fake signature. There is a time stamp mentioned in most of the non-repudiation methods and therefore altering it is impossible.
Process of Digital Signature
Is it usually a three step process involving:
Generating the Key – The process involves a private key along with the corresponding public key.
Signing – The signature is generated once the private key is received by the algorithm along with the message signed.
Verification – The last process is to check the validity of the message through the verification along with signature and public key.