Here's all you need to know about Digital Signature (2023)

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The signatures have by far played a huge role in individual’s decision making and enabling consent at a much larger value. But sometimes it may happen that authorized signatory may not be at a particular place to allow his assent by signing the document. The advancement of the growing technology and industrial era gadgets duly provided us this boon. keeping pace with the ongoing technology Digital Signatures or E-signatures were introduced.

What is a digital signature?

A digital signature is exactly what it sounds like a modern alternative to signing documents with paper and pen. A digital signature—a type of electronic signature—is a mathematical algorithm routinely used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message (e.g., an email, a credit card transaction, or a digital document). Digital signatures create a virtual fingerprint that is unique to a person or entity and are used to identify users and protect information in digital messages or documents. In emails, the email content itself becomes part of the digital signature. Digital signatures are significantly more secure than other forms of electronic signatures. Digital signatures increase the transparency of online interactions and develop trust between customers, business partners, and vendors.

How do digital signatures work?

  • Hash function

    A hash function is a fixed-length string of numbers and letters generated from a mathematical algorithm and an arbitrarily sized file such as an email, document, picture, or other type of data. This generated string is unique to the file being hashed and is a one-way function— a computed hash cannot be reversed to find other files that may generate the same hash value.

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  • Public key cryptography

    Public key cryptography (also known as asymmetric encryption) is a cryptographic method that uses a key pair system. One key, called the public key, encrypts the data. The other key, called the private key, decrypts the data. Public key cryptography can be used several ways to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity. Public key cryptography can Ensure integrity and confidentiality and verify the user’s identity.

  • Public key infrastructure (PKI)

    It consists of the policies, standards, people, and systems that support the distribution of public keys and the identity validation of individuals or entities with digital certificates and a certificate authority.

  • Certificate authority (CA)

    It is a trusted third party that validates a person’s identity and either generates a public/private key pair on their behalf or associates an existing public key provided by the person to that person. Once a CA validates someone’s identity, they issue a digital certificate that is digitally signed by the CA.

  • Digital certificates

    Digital certificates are analogous to driver licenses in that their purpose is to identify the holder of a certificate. Digital certificates contain the public key of the individual or organization and are digitally signed by a CA. Other information about the organization, individual, and CA can be included in the certificate as well.

  • Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)/OpenPGP

    It is an alternative to PKI. With this, users “trust” other users by signing certificates of people with verifiable identities. The more interconnected these signatures are, the higher the likelihood of verifying a particular user on the internet. This concept is called the “Web of Trust.”

Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)

A method to prove the authenticity of an electronic document. It can be presented electronically to prove the identity, to access information or sign certain documents digitally. The Central Government has appointed a Controller of Certifying Authorities who grants a license to the Certifying Authorities to issue digital signature certificates to the subscriber. Elements of DSC are the owner's public key, owner's name, expiration date of Public Key, name of the issuer, serial number of the certificate, digital signature of the user.

How Digital Signature works ?

Digital signatures work by proving that a digital message or document was not modified—intentionally or unintentionally—from the time it was signed. Digital signatures do this by generating a unique hash of the message or document and encrypting it using the sender’s private key. The hash generated is unique to the message or document, and changing any part of it will completely change the hash.
Once completed, the message or digital document is digitally signed and sent to the recipient. The recipient then generates their own hash of the message or digital document and decrypts the sender’s hash (included in the original message) using the sender’s public key. The recipient compares the hash they generate against the sender’s decrypted hash; if they match, the message or digital document has not been modified and the sender is authenticated.

Usage of Digital Signature

  1. Personal Use

    It is at the liberty of the individual to use the signature personally without creating the hassle to personally be at the given place.

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  2. Business

    Professions such as Architecture, Construction and Engineering Companies require to sign the tenders, market procurements or even biddings, Digital signature can prove to be a great way to provide the assent.

  3. Return filing for GST

    GST filing and E-filing causes the individuals to compulsory opt for Digital Signatures.

  4. Filing for Income Tax

    Some corporations require the business to file the tax all over India, thus saving the light of the day.

  5. For ROC E-filing

    Filing with registrar of Companies and filing for various documents has caused enough leverage for individuals to opt for Digital Signature.

Problems With Digital Signature

  • It functions online. Therefore, it has to be either purchased or downloaded
  • It lacks trust and authenticity

Verification of Digital Signature

The recipient receives the original message and the digital signature. After this, there are two steps which need to be followed:

  • A new message digest is recovered from the original message by applying the hash result.
  • The signer’s public key is applied to the digital signature received by the recipient and another message digest is recovered as the outcome of it.
  • If both the message digests are identical, it means that the message is not altered.

The verification of a Digital Signature shall be accomplished by computing a new hash result of the original electronic record by means of a hash function which is used to create a Digital Signature and by using the public key and the new hash result.


With the advancement in technology, the usage of the digital signature in place of the conventional signature has widely increased. As paperless, online interactions are used more widely, digital signatures can help you secure and safeguard the integrity of your data. By understanding and using digital signatures, you can better protect your information, documents, and transactions. The tips in this article will help you to gain all necessary knowledge about Digital Signatures. You can also become tech savvy and get your own digital signature/ ensign by VSign.


What is a digital signature answers? ›

What is a digital signature? A digital signature—a type of electronic signature—is a mathematical algorithm routinely used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message (e.g., an email, a credit card transaction, or a digital document).

What do you know about digital signature? ›

A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital document. It's the digital equivalent of a handwritten signature or stamped seal, but it offers far more inherent security.

How does a digital signature work step by step? ›

When a signer digitally signs a document, a cryptographic hash is generated for the document. That cryptographic hash is then encrypted using the sender's private key, which is stored in a secure HSM box. It is then appended to the document and sent to the recipients along with the sender's public key.

What are the main requirements for the digital signatures? ›

To be considered a legitimate digital signing, there are a few requirements. The most basic requirement is that the signer's identity is bound to a certificate or other type of identifying credential that can be encrypted and authenticated. A PKI-based digital certificate serves this purpose.

What is an example of a digital signature? ›

The most common example is a wet signature scanned by an electronic device and then inserted into a document. Another example of a simple digital signature is the email signature that we often add at the end of the email, and check the terms and conditions box in the software installation process.

Can I give my digital signature to anyone? ›

It depends upon the how the subscriber has kept his private keys. If private key is not stored securely, then it can be misused to sign an electronic record without the knowledge of the owner of the private key.

What are the three main purposes of the digital signature? ›

Uses of digital signatures

Digital signatures are used to meet three important goals of information security: integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation.

What is the main purpose of signature? ›

The traditional function of a signature is to permanently affix to a document a person's uniquely personal, undeniable self-identification as physical evidence of that person's personal witness and certification of the content of all, or a specified part, of the document.

Why digital signatures are so important? ›

The use of digital signatures is important because they can ensure end-to-end message integrity, and can also provide authentication information about the originator of a message.

What are the three types of signature? ›

What are the different types of signatures?
  • Wet signature.
  • Electronic signature (E-signature)
  • Digital signature.

How do I use my digital signature? ›

Signed documents have the Signatures button at the bottom of the document.
  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Info.
  3. Click Protect Document, Protect Workbook or Protect Presentation.
  4. Click Add a Digital Signature.
  5. Read the Word, Excel, or PowerPoint message, and then click OK.

How do you create a digital signature? ›

The simplest and most straightforward way to create a digital signature is to simply sign your name using a pen, take a photo of it, and upload it to a digital device.

What is the difference between electronic signature and digital signature? ›

An electronic signature is a digital form of a wet link signature that is legally binding and secure. Digital Signature is a secured signature that works with an electronic signature and relies on public key infrastructure.

How is digital signature verified? ›

How can a digitally signed document be verified after the DSC associated with the Public Key has expired? The digital signature verification process for a document requires the signer's public key, issuer certificates and their CRLs. CA will make available the issuer certificates and CRLs till the expiry of DSCs.

What makes a digital signature legally binding? ›

To qualify as an enforceable electronic signature, there must be evidence of the signer's intent to execute or accept the agreement. This is typically accomplished by requiring the signer to take affirmative action, like typing their name or drawing their signature using a mouse or touchscreen.

What are the different types of signatures? ›

There are four main categories of signature used in the business world: wet signatures, e-signatures, digital signatures, and clickwrap signatures. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to use one or more of these methods when you agree to a contract or sign other important documents.

What are the four properties of digital signature? ›

Properties of digital signatures
  • Unforgeable.
  • Authentic.
  • Can't be modified once sent.
  • Not reusable.
  • Prevent repudiation.

What is a digital signature quizlet? ›

A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital document. asymmetric cryptography (public-key cryptography) cryptography in which a pair of keys is used to encrypt and decrypt a message so that it arrives securely.

What is a digital certificate answer? ›

A Digital Certificate is an electronic file that is tied to a cryptographic key pair and authenticates the identity of a website, individual, organization, user, device or server. It is also known as a public key certificate or identity certificate.

What is digital signature in simple word? ›

A digital signature is an electronic, encrypted, stamp of authentication on digital information such as email messages, macros, or electronic documents. A signature confirms that the information originated from the signer and has not been altered. The following is an example of a signature line. Top of Page.

How do I create a digital signature? ›

The simplest and most straightforward way to create a digital signature is to simply sign your name using a pen, take a photo of it, and upload it to a digital device.


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