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, any mark on electronic document could be used in capturing the intent of the signer to either 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.
Here in this article, we will be focusing on the different types of electronic signatures that are used in today’s time.
Number 1. Click-to-Sign signatures – these normally include 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. There is a possibility that it might be just cut and pasted from another document.
Number 2. Basic electronic signature – these are going to need the signer to apply their hand signature mark on the document and then, it’ll be protected by making use of 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. Hence, this is referred to as “Witness” digital signature.
Number 3. Qualified and advanced e-signatures – if you are looking for something that delivers the highest level of assurance and trust for signing keys on every signer, then you should look for AES and QES or Advanced Electronic Signature and Qualified Electronic Signature respectively. This links directly to the identity of the user to signed document such that anyone could verify it on their own using industry standard PDF reader. You have to be mindful as well that these are also known as digital signatures than e-signatures.
Not just that, the signer has the only control of their private signing key which guarantees non-repudiation even if the service provider is not responsible for the creation of signature. Remote signing has tons of benefits including 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.