An Electronic Signature Is Not As Secure as a Digital Signature

An electronic signature is a copy of your signature captured electronically. There are different ways and methods organizations use in order to convert your paper signature into electronic format. One option is to have you sign a piece of paper and then create a scan of the signature. The scan is then able to be used to create various signature templates for use with different applications, like email. While this method does provide users with a way to make their documents, emails and other forms look more professional, it does not offer much security against unauthorized usage. For example, if you share your email inbox with your administrative assistant, he or she has the ability to apply your e-signature to any email messages, with or without your prior approval.

One way to increase the security of an electronic signature is to convert it into a digital signature. In order to do this, you will need a certificate authority (CA) system to create digital certificates. During the certificate creation process, your CA system prompts you for the types of information you want to incorporate in the certificate, including adding a digital signature. After choosing the appropriate options, your CA system creates two certificates for each digital signature. One certificate contains the user’s signature, as well as a private key that is used for encryption processes to secure data whenever the signature is attached. The other certificate contains a public key, which is used to decrypt and verify the authenticity of digitally signed documents, forms, files and other data-types.