What is a Digital Signature Certificate?
- Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are the digital equivalent (that is electronic format) of physical or paper certificates. Few Examples of physical certificates are drivers’ licenses, passports or membership cards.
- Certificates serve as proof of identity of an individual for a certain purpose; for example, a driver’s license identifies someone who can legally drive in a particular country. Likewise, a digital certificate can be presented electronically to prove one’s identity, to access information or services on the Internet or to sign certain documents digitally.
- A licensed Certifying Authority (CA) issues the digital signature. Certifying Authority (CA) means a person who has been granted a license to issue a digital signature certificate under Section 24 of the Indian IT-Act 2000.
A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital document. It’s the digital equivalent of a handwritten signature or stamped seal, but it offers far more inherent security. A digital signature is intended to solve the problem of tampering and impersonation in digital communications.
Digital signatures can provide evidence of origin, identity and status of electronic documents, transactions or digital messages. Signers can also use them to acknowledge informed consent.
How do digital signatures work?
Digital signatures, like handwritten signatures, are unique to each signer. Digital signature solution providers, such as DocuSign, follow a specific protocol, called PKI. PKI requires the provider to use a mathematical algorithm to generate two long numbers, called keys. One key is public, and one key is private.
When a signer electronically signs a document, the signature is created using the signer’s private key, which is always securely kept by the signer. The mathematical algorithm acts like a cipher, creating data matching the signed document, called a hash, and encrypting that data. The resulting encrypted data is the digital signature. The signature is also marked with the time that the document was signed. If the document changes after signing, the digital signature is invalidated.
Uses for digital signatures
1.Industries use digital signature technology to streamline processes and improve document integrity.
2.Government – Digital signatures are used by governments worldwide for a variety of reasons, including processing tax returns, verifying business-to-government (B2G) transactions, ratifying laws and managing contracts. \s.
3.Healthcare-Digital signatures are used in the healthcare industry to improve the efficiency of treatment and administrative processes, to strengthen data security, for e-prescribing and hospital admissions.
4.Manufacturing- Manufacturing companies use digital signatures to speed up processes, including product design, quality assurance (QA), manufacturing enhancements, marketing and sales. T
5.Financial services –The U.S. financial sector uses digital signatures for contracts, paperless banking, loan processing, insurance documentation, mortgages and more.
6. Cryptocurrencies – Digital signatures are also used in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to authenticate the blockchain. They are also used to manage transaction data associated with cryptocurrency and as a way for users to show ownership of currency or their participation in a transaction.