A shift from paper-based transactions to paperless transactions (e-transactions) is no longer a painful experience. However, the challenge is to carry out these transactions in a secure and authenticate way. To counter this challenge, digital signature technology is seen as a mechanism to maintain security and authenticity of these transactions, while making them simpler and faster.
Going ahead, as we rely more on online mediums for exchange of information and communication, the security concerns will become more crucial and urgent. Slowly and steadily, we’re entering into a virtual world, where our ‘online’ presence will be easier and faster than our physical presence. This virtual world will need a digital identity (your digital signature), authorizing you to do transactions and communications in a faster and easier way.
In a traditional way of sending messages or undertaking transactions, there’s no way through which sender’s information or identity can be confirmed. On the other hand, digital signatures can be used to authenticate the source of messages. As the ownership of a digital signature key is attached to a specific user, a valid signature emphasizes on the real identity of the sender. Most importantly, a digital signature is used for maintaining data integrity, as the messages or documents cannot be changed after signing.
Considering pace and criticality of today’s transactions, there’s a constant pressure to safeguard businesses against fake activities and misuse. And the availability of digital signatures at an affordable price turns out to be imperative for a wide range of applications and verticals. Nowadays, the level of risk is same for all businesses, irrespective of their sizes, which makes it essential even for a small organization to implement effective, yet economical, measures for business and transaction protection.
Let us take an example of banking sector. Today, majority of the banks are allowing their customers to manage their account through Internet, which is called as e-Banking. And customers are using this facility to transfer funds, check account balances, for sending loan applications, reviewing their monthly statements, and various other activities. All these activities are very confidential to the customers, and banks as well. In such scenario, it becomes necessary to implement all security measures in place, allowing customers to enjoy worry-free and secure e-Banking facility. Increasing incidents of phishing and pharming have forced banks to look beyond password-based login mechanism. Therefore, banks have now started implementing digital signatures based login mechanisms to maintain security and authenticity for customer logins, and their transactions.
Finally, the common consensus has reached on reducing paper dependence for processes and transactions, and efforts are on to promote green environment. The use of digital signatures not only brings the commercial advantages, but also makes you responsible towards environment, and society as a whole.