Using electronic forms to manage your business processes
Digital signatures are an important technology for your business that can help you keep your messages, software and digital documents secure. There is a common misconception that a digital signature is just a real signature that has been penned out on paper and then scanned in and saved on a computer. In fact, a digital signature is a mathematical technique applied to a document or bit of software to essentially “stamp” the data with a company or individual’s identity.
In this way a digital signature is very similar to a hand written signature in that it shows who the document originates from and that it is “signed” by an entity or someone who is legitimate. This technology gives your customers and business clients the assurance that all communication and software that is shared with them has a genuine origin by allowing them to see your “stamp” upon electronic delivery. This technology also works to prevent unwanted tampering and company impersonation. This can help prevent malicious attacks against not only your own data but also everyone who you do business with.
Digital signatures have become a standard in today’s business world and in many countries they are now accepted as legally binding in the court of law.
How does it work?
Digital signatures are fairly complicated but at their essence they are based around cryptology. It is most easily described by thinking of a key and a lock. Trusted associates are handed “keys” that can be used to unlock any data or communication that is done with them. Then on your company’s end, a private “lock” is generated and is only available internally, this lock is what is also known as the digital signature.
Any communication, data, or software can now be “locked” with your digital signature and sent to a trusted customer or associated business to be “unlocked” with the previously provided keys. This process happens automatically and all behind the scenes once setup, and provides enhanced security for your data.
Benefits of Digital Signatures
People are increasingly using this technology for both personal and business documents. They are using this technology for anything from contracts, loans, leases, transactions, business documents and agreements. This form of applying a signature to a document offers several benefits over purely handwritten signatures on paper.
- Cost reductions. We now no longer have to provide proof of authorisation through the use of a physical signature. This not only reduces the cost of printing out large documents purely to have them read and signed, but also saves on the cost of physically mailing a document out to have it signed.
- Environmental Impact. Continuing from above, through the mitigation of printing out large paper documents, there are obvious environmental benefits.
- Roaming and Mobile devices. Having access to documents while outside the office can be a huge benefit to your organisation and with the use of digital signatures it means the person you need to sign off on something can do so almost instantly.
- Increased security. Documents under the digital security method are completely tamper proof due to the possibility of audit trails, IP address location records and a solid record of changes made to the document. Everything is stored and recorded at all times. Furthermore, all documents are stored electronically so there can be no human errors in the processing of important data.
Digital signatures are becoming the cornerstone of document security and authorisation throughout the current business world. Don’t get left in the dust! Feel free to contact us here at Nettko on 1300 NETTKO or reach out to us here.
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