A digital signature ensures that the contents of a message have not been compromised while sending the message or File from one place to another within a computer network.
A digital signature is a numerical value defined as a string of characters. It is generated by a complex mathematical process that can only be performed by a machine.
When you digitally sign a letter, you use your public and private key pair to add a one-way hash (encryption) of the message text.
Digital signatures will help you protect and safeguard the integrity of your data as paperless, online interactions become more common. You can better protect your information, records, and transactions by understanding and using digital signatures.
What is Encryption?
- Encryption is a technique for converting data into a format that is unrecognizable.
- If senders use an encryption algorithm, a hacker would not be able to read the data.
- Key algorithms are commonly used to encrypt data.
What is Decryption?
- Decryption is the process of restoring unreadable/coded data to its original state.
- This method involves manually decrypting the text or using the same keys that were used to encrypt the original data.
How does Digital Signature Works?
When a signer electronically signs a document, the signature is made with the signer’s private key, which the signer still keeps secure.
The mathematical algorithm works like a cipher, generating hash data that matches the signed document and encrypting it. The digital signature is made up of the encrypted data that results.
The moment the contract was signed is also stamped on the signature. The digital signature is invalidated if the document changes after it has been signed.
PKI (public key infrastructure) requires that the keys be generated, executed, and saved in a secure manner to ensure the identity of the signature, and usually requires the use of a reputable Certificate Authority (CA). PKI criteria for secure digital signing are met by digital signature providers such as DocuSign.