Everything you need to know about advanced e-Signatures

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What is advanced eSignatures

Introduction

The world of digital and digital signatures contains many rules and techniques that can be a challenge if not adequately explained. This article focuses on advanced electronic signatures and defines the types of digital signatures covered by policies across the world.

The advanced eSignature is a qualified electronic signature as defined in the EU Directive 1999/93/EC, which has been transposed into national law by all Member States of the European Union.

This article also looks at the benefits of using advanced eSignatures and how they can help your business.

 

What is an Advanced Electronic Signature?

An advanced electronic signature (AES) is a qualified electronic signature as defined in the EU Directive 1999/93/EC. It is an electronic signature that meets all the requirements of Article 26 of that Directive.

To be classified as AES, an electronic signature must:

– be uniquely linked to the signatory

– be created using means that the signatory can maintain under his sole control

– be capable of identifying the signatory

– be created using a secure signature creation device

The advanced electronic signature has been transposed into national law by all Member States of the European Union and is recognized throughout the EU.

 

Why Use an Advanced Electronic Signature?

There are many benefits to using an advanced electronic signature, including:

Security: The advanced electronic signature is more secure than other methods of signing such as ink signatures or scanned images;

Efficiency: Advanced eSignatures can be processed quickly and easily, reducing turnaround times and improving business efficiency;

Trust: With an advanced electronic signature, you can be sure that the person signing is who they

What is Advanced eSignatures

 

What differentiates the advanced digital signature from the rest?

For those less familiar with the world of e-Signatures and digital signatures, these technical definitions can create confusion and ambiguity about the strengths and weaknesses of each type of digital signature.

Digital signatures or simple digital signatures differ from advanced electronic signatures because advanced digital signatures protect the signer’s identity. This is an important point when signing important documents that contain sensitive information.

A simple digital signature is a handwritten signature scanned or captured on a tablet without capturing biometric data (pressure, stroke speed, etc.).

The signature can be easily forged in either case, and the person claiming to have signed the document is not necessarily the actual signer. Therefore, both the level of security and the legal guarantee is considered low.

Digital signatures certified as  Advanced Electronic Signatures can have the same high level of technical security. The only difference is that the latter requires an authority (approved by eIDAS) to certify the signature and the software that supports it.

 

Obtaining and advanced e-Signature

There are several ways to meet the requirements set out by eIDAS for an electronic signature to be considered advanced. Generally speaking, either with or without a digital certificate.

eSignature without a certificate

No certificate is required for advanced electronic signatures. Therefore, other types of proofs are needed.  You can use a one-time password (OTP). These are sent to the signer’s smartphone or email address and may contain other evidence types.

The signer should also consider using a biometric signature. It captures biometric data (signer’s rubrics, strokes, etc., which are under the signer’s sole control and prevent later changes), as already mentioned.

Non-qualified certificate-based signatures

These certificates contain all the data needed to create a signature, are managed by the signatory, and are aware of document tampering.It is vital to distinguish digital signatures that use qualified certificates. The certified signature certificate is stored on a peripheral device (such as a Smartcard reader) or generated and stored on a secure HSM (Hardware Security Module). If you select the last option, you can access the server via robust or two-factor authentication, so you can use these certificates as if they were installed on your device.

These certificates contain all the data needed to create a signature, are managed by the signer, and are aware of invalidation changes.

It is essential to distinguish digital signatures that use qualified certificates. The certified signature certificate is stored on a peripheral device (such as a Smartcard reader) or generated and stored on a secure HSM (Hardware Security Module). If you select the last option, you can access the server via robust or two-factor authentication, so you can use these certificates as if they were installed on your device.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, advanced electronic signatures are more secure and offer more legal protection than simple digital signatures.

There are several ways to obtain an advanced e-Signature, depending on your needs and preferences. You can use a one-time password (OTP) or biometric signature for added security with a digital certificate. Advanced digital signatures certified as advanced electronic signatures provide even more protection and legal guarantees.

Certinal offers robust flexibility where the signer can use simple, advanced, or qualified electronic signatures. Switch to Certinal today to experience a world of security and both global and local compliance. Read about how Certinal can add value to your business here.

Please write to us a switchto@certinal.com or book a demo and explore a world of security and compliance.

 

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