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Lokjithkirthik Viswanathan

Everything you need to know about advanced electronic signatures5 min read

Advanced electronic signatures

Introduction 

As businesses increasingly embrace digital transformation, securing and legally binding electronic signatures have become more crucial. Enter advanced e-signatures. Advanced electronic signatures offer enhanced security, convenience, and compliance.   

With an advanced e-signature, you can quickly sign contracts, agreements, and forms with just a few clicks, all while ensuring the highest level of authenticity and integrity. It eliminates the hassle of printing, signing physically, and scanning documents, saving you time and resources.   

But what sets advanced e-signatures apart from their counterparts? How do they work, and are they legally valid? These key questions we’ll explore in this blog provide you with the knowledge to make informed decisions for your business or personal needs and the types of digital signatures covered by policies worldwide.   

Join us as we demystify the world of advanced e-signatures and uncover their incredible potential for streamlining workflows, enhancing security, and maximizing efficiency. Get ready to empower your digital signature process like never before!   

What is an Advanced Electronic Signature? 

The Advanced Electronic Signature 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. 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.  
  • Created using means that the signatory can maintain under his sole control.   
  • Capable of identifying the signatory.  
  • 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 an Advanced Electronic Signature?

Difference Between Advanced E-signature and Other Digital Signatures?  

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 digital 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, and the person claiming to have signed the document is not necessarily the actual signer. As a result, the security and legal guarantee level could be higher.   

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 Signature and the software that supports it.   

Obtaining an advanced electronic signatures

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

E-Signatures without a certificate  

No certificate is required for advanced electronic signatures. Therefore, other types of proof 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. As mentioned, it captures biometric data (signer’s rubrics, strokes, etc., which are under the signer’s sole control and prevent later changes).   

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.   

Depending on your needs and preferences, there are several ways to obtain an advanced e-signature. With a digital certificate, you can use a one-time password (OTP) or biometric Signature for added security. 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 global and local compliance. Read about how Certinal can add value to your business here.   

You can book a demo and explore a world of security and compliance.   

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Author
Senior Executive - Marketing
Lokjith is a marketing content writer, and he writes about eSignature technology to raise awareness and help enterprises make informed decisions. Before discovering the SaaS industry, he organized Offline Marketing campaigns campaigns. He has a master’s degree from the Institute of Management Technology, specializing in Marketing.
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