At first sight you may think that these two signatures are exactly the same, and in fact, they are often mentioned one or the other without difference, however, these two kinds of signatures are not equal, and it is important to distinguish them, especially if we move in a business administrative world. Here we will briefly explain you the differences between electronic signature and digital one.

Definition of electronic signature and digital one

The digital signature is creating by a process using a mathematical encryption. It allows to check the authenticity of the same data if necessary. This signature is introduced in an asymmetric encryption that uses a key pair, a private, known only to the person responsible for signing and a public one which is shared and known by all. That is what is called a system of public key cryptography (PKI – Public Key Infrastructure). It is a signature that has already been legalized and validated by many countries as it allows to ensure the identity of who is signing and the origin of the last. It provides security to different people and companies of that who is signing if it is the mentioned person and not an assistant. Besides all that, you can even ensure that the electronic content that is signed by the person has not had any modification or alteration using timestamps. A time stamp is merely a digital mark issued by a trusted authority, in Spain there are several issuing houses of timestamps as Ancert, Camerfirma,… . The time stamp is issued by these entities and guarded in time, it is the digital equivalent of a document registered by a notary. Thus, this sign is legal as well as a handwritten, where the sender cannot deny at any time the digital content that he signs and if it is necessary, the content integrity can be validated and proven before a judicial process. It can also give privacy to the message between receiver and sender. A digital signature is very important to prevent the falsification of our identity as well as to ensure the information integrity and non-repudiation. On the contrary, the electronic signature is accompanying electronic information, it is given by electronic data and it is the identification of the signing person. In other words, it has the same purpose as a handwritten signature but in electronic form; it is the one that identifies which person is signing the content, but without needed degree of security (i.e. it is the form of the signature).  Therefore, although electronic signature can recognize whose it is, it has no juridical or legal validity as well as no authentication or security. An example of this signature is creating a pdf file with the author’s signature at the end. The electronic signature itself can be any word, scribble or even some kind of png or jpg image that contains the manuscript trace. To be safe and authentic electronic signature must be part of the digital signature, they both complement each other. The digital signature, as mentioned above, is the one with the mathematical encryption and enables electronic signature to be attributed or to recognize a particular signer. Without any doubt, the digital signature makes communication, speed of the processes and all the administration itself much easier. Saving cost and time is very significant; it does not require any displacement or postal parcels. However and despite these differences, there are countries which call the digital signature the Advanced Electronic Signature or even electronic signature. Our Dokuflex platform has a component of electronic signature Doku4Signatures that allows to incorporate to their documents all the properties of electronic signature and can be used both to manage invoices completing with the Doku4Invoices component and to certificate receipts expenses Doku4Travel or as a separate component of signature keeper to ensure the confidentiality and non-repudiation of the documents managed by the company that may include contracts, private documents, medical consent forms, payrolls, offers and in general any type of documentation required by this technology. In Dokuflex we are ready to help you. Contact us and let us advise you how to implement well the digital signatures in your organization. Ask for information.

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