The technology domain is changing so fast that it has become practically impossible to keep abreast of all changes on an immediate basis. The newer evolutions in the fields of technology are so inspiring that one wonders why they didn’t hear of this before. The same has been true for the digital signatures.
Although digital signatures have been around for quite a long time now, yet there are people who are still unaware of this great technological blessing. In layman terms, it is as simple as an electronic format of your hand written signatures; but if you dig deeper and try to study the attributes of these signatures, you will be immensely surprised.
The basic purpose of digital signatures is to authenticate a document. Gone are the days when the task of validating a document was so tiresome; first one needed to take the print out, place pen-on-paper signatures on it; scan it again to generate a digital copy and then it was saved or transported wherever it was required.
Digital signatures have eased the whole process enormously. In order to validate a digital document, all you need to do is to use a single click to place your signature and the document is sealed with the electronic version of your signature forever.
The integrity of a document can be claimed with if they are properly implemented with quality algorithms. Once the digital signatures have been placed on a document, it can only be verified by the users who possess the public key associated with that private key that was used to create the digital signature. also no one can ever alter that document because any change made to the document after placement of the digital signature renders the signature as null and void.
At the technological front, digital signatures are often used interchangeably with the term electronic signatures; yet it is important to understand that an electronic signature is a broader term and not all of them employ the same underlying technology.
Wider acceptability is being seen around the globe for this validating mechanism. In the geographical locations where they are recognized as a legal entity, they make a person liable to same laws and regulations as a hand written signature would do. Thus, if permissible under the law, digital signatures have the same legal binding as ordinary signatures.
There are numerous instances of fraud and deception in the business world, and digital signatures are also prone to attempt of forgery and imitation. However, the good news is that if they are properly cryptographically implemented with a secure algorithm, they are way less prone to imitation or any other mode of falsification.
Technology guards the digital signatures through key generation method. A Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is employed that consists of a set of two keys. A private key that remains solely in the possession of the signing authority and there is a public key that can be used to validate the document by anyone who has access to the public key.
Digital signatures are being widely accepted because of their significant advantages seen in the form of cutting of paper and stationary cost as well as their security implementations through them; nevertheless there are loopholes that still need to be covered with further progression in related technology.