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Signature norms

It is important to understand the eSignatures norms, as there are vast differences between eSignatures and digital signatures. Here are the different signature types and their inherent security and trustworthiness:
  • Electronic Signatures:
    Electronic signatures are used to indicate the person’s consent to sign. eSignatures can be a typed name, scanned image of handwritten signature or drawn in real-time on a signature tablet etc. eSignatures by themselves do not provide authentication of the signer or protect the document from change, as the signer doesn't necessarily need to have the SigningHub account for their electronic signatures. SigningHub offers eSignatures in conjunction with the digital signatures. The electronic signatures can also be produced as the witness digital signatures, if they are generated by using a witness (shared) certificate of SigningHub. 

  • Digital Signatures:
    Digital signatures are cryptographic codes embedded into the document to prove who digitally signed the document and whether or not the document was changed since signing. In SigningHub each user signs with their own PKI signing key so that each digital signature uniquely identifies the signing party (many other vendors use a single server-side digital signature key for all users, hence the user’s identity is not strongly bound with their digital signature). For digital signatures, the signer must have a SigningHub account.

  • EU Qualified Signatures:
    EU Qualified signatures are the highest level of digital signatures. Creating a Qualified Signature requires the signatory to hold a qualified PKI certificate for their signing key, which is issued by a recognised and trusted Certification Service Provider (CSP). The signing key must be held and used on a secure hardware device. SigningHub supports both local and server-side EU Qualified Signatures. Ascertia can assist in identifying relevant qualified CSPs or setting-up such services on-premise or with trusted hosting partners. For EU Qualified signatures, the signer must have a SigningHub account.

SigningHub supports all three signature levels simultaneously – the right signature type to use for a particular document will depend on the underlying business needs, transaction value or legal & regulatory requirements. As this is an enterprise level decision so you cannot leave on end-users to make, the SigningHub Enterprise Administrator can pre-configure the correct signature type when defining workflow templates. 

See also

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