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How Secure are Digital Signatures? | Dedoco


Digital signatures are a type of electronic signature that has advanced security and verification features recorded in an audit trail. Where e-signatures can be used as a convenient and efficient alternative to wet-ink signatures for business contracts, and employment agreements, digital signatures are used in cases where there are higher security and regulatory requirements.

Digital signing on phone by Dedoco

The key feature of digital signatures that distinguishes them from e-signatures is the additional layers of security, especially for verifying and validating the signatory’s identity and signature. Dedoco’s dSign solution for example uses decentralised blockchain technology to hash signatures with document data, making them tamper proof and allowing for document tracking and verification in real time. This open architecture provides organisations with true ownership of their documents and digital assets via verified sharing, tokenization and smart contracts, facilitating regulatory compliance and adherence to document residency requirements including that of high-trust sectors.

The high standard of security that digital signing solutions offer coupled with unparalleled convenience and efficiency over wet-ink signatures, provide a competitive edge for businesses and enhance the document signing and approval process. With such benefits, it’s no surprise that organisations are moving away from wet-ink signatures and adopting electronic and even digital signatures, especially when working with sensitive and confidential information. Curious about and have more questions about digital signatures? We have addressed some frequently asked questions below.

1)   Can Someone’s Digital Signature be Forged?

Can digital signatures be easily forged and altered as wet-ink signatures are on paper documents?

Digital signatures are safe and secure with Dedoco

Digital signatures are just as legally binding as traditional signatures and they even go further to fix the inherent weaknesses of wet-ink signatures. To protect against forgery, digital signatures have sophisticated methods of authenticating user identity before their online signature is affixed to a document. A prominent example of user identity authentication in Singapore is SingPass which is used for a wide range of government services.

In November 2020, SingPass launched a digital signature feature which greatly increases the convenience of signing legal documents. Working with digital signing application providers like Dedoco, the feature helps businesses and government agencies save on costs and manpower. To prevent cases of fraud or forgery, cybersecurity measures in line with industry best practices have been implemented in the digital signing feature and supported by application providers.

2)   How Does a Digital Signature Work?

A digital signature is recognised globally, e.g., by the Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) in Singapore if it involves the transformation of an electronic record via cryptographic encryption and hashing. To satisfy this requirement, an entity should be able to determine whether this transformation was created by the intended signee of the document and if the initial electronic record has been modified since the transformation was made.

To protect the integrity of the document signing process, the digital signature must be created during the operational period of a valid certificate and the certificate must be issued by an accredited certification authority acting in compliance with the ETA.

For example, when a document is signed on the Dedoco platform, a document hash is registered. Once the document is complete after the digital signing process, a check hash function is performed to ensure the integrity of the original document and verify that no changes have been made, making the process tamper-proof.

A Dedoco signing certificate is issued and can be retrieved from the blockchain for verification to view the timestamp of the document creation and review the project status, signatures gathered, their timestamps, and the IP addresses involved.

3)   Why A Digital Signature Is More Secure Than A Wet-Ink Signature

Why Digital signature more secure than a wet one

Wet-ink signatures rely on a traditional and technologically backward notion that it is unique to you. However, these signatures are not secure as skilled forgers are able to replicate handwriting and signatures.

Digital online signatures on the Dedoco platform however come with a digital signing certificate that contains evidence that the document has not been tampered with. The audit trail shows the timestamps of signatures and device IP addresses. This level of tamper-proof integrity cannot be achieved with paper documents and wet-ink signatures. Some solutions that have national and/or private Identity Provider (IdP) Integration, like Dedoco with SingPass, offer an extra layer of authenticity for user identification.

Many businesses have digitised, gone paperless and are already reaping the benefits of secure electronic signatures. These include cost-effectiveness and efficiency as they speed up transactions and approvals and ultimately improve the bottom line. Beyond that, they also add a strong layer of security, document integrity, and an audit trail that allows companies to adhere to stringent regulations and reduce instances of fraud or forgery.

If your business operations involve sensitive information and you require stringent security standards, in-line with regulatory requirements, then Dedoco could well be something you can consider. Powered by our next-gen Dedoco Trust Engine, our digital signing solutions ensure trust, traceability, and verifiability for every electronic record. Contact us today to learn more about how the Dedoco Trust Engine can inspire your business transformation.

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