Afraid of Digital Signatures? Ask CYGNATURE.

A Place where you ask & we answer, anything about Digital Signatures, so that next time you sign, you sign with “CYGNATURE”

Business going online has led to an increase in ease and speed of communications, transactions and Digital processes.

Everything these days is online from finding a friend or a job to cross border Shopping. Let’s consider the banking sector in the earliest forms with MICR to the advent of ATMs and cards. With the emergence of Internet in 1980s digital networks began to connect everything from everywhere.

The improvement of broadband and ecommerce systems in the early 2000s led to what resembled the modern digital banking world today. India has over a billion mobile phone connections and the smartphone user base is expected to grow to 520 million users by 2020 With over 460 million internet users today by 2021, there will be about 635.8 million internet users in India. India is the second largest online market, ranked only behind China.

 

People are moving from every physical process to a Digital process and with these numbers we can see a drastic shift towards the “Digital Transformation” in last two decades.But when a signature is needed in any of these processes like for a loan application, Government Documents, Signing Contract or legal documents, Offer Letters or any other document, Legal, financial or governmental institutions and their customers must return to paper—causing a disruption in this digital momentum.

 

That’s where Digital Signatures come into play.

In India, Organizations still rely on papers and files and hesitate to opt for Digital Signatures to Sign Documents. The fact lies, Customers will always appreciate the tremendous benefits that Digital signatures will bring in the workflows including convenience, efficiency, cost savings and security.

This hesitation is quite common as Organizations and their customers have so many questions for this new technology coming in. So we are here to answer these questions on Digital Signatures to give you confidence in making the switch to Digital Signatures.

Some Recent Questions -

Yes, the Information Technology Act, 2000 in India has given legal validity to digital signatures.

Yes, the Indian Evidence Act, 1858 has been modified and amended on lines with the Information Technology Act, 2000 and thus any electronic document signed with a valid digital signature is considered a valid piece of evidence similar to a physical document signed with a hand-written signature.

No, a digital signature is unique and thus two or more individuals/entities cannot have the same digital signature.

There are three types of digital signature certificates depending on the validation of identity and type of use. They are:

Class I DSC – Individuals get it for validating the email identification of the users and in situations where risk is minimal and here the signature is stored in software.

Class II DSC – Business organizations or individuals use this digital signature certificate to validate the information given by the subscriber in the application against the information available in a trusted consumer database and in other such situations where security risk is moderate. In this case a hardware cryptographic device is used for storing the signature.

Class III DSC – This digital certificate is directly issued by the certifying authority and it is required that the person applying for DSC must be present at the certifying authority’s premises and prove his/her identity in front of the authority and the security risk involved in this case is very high. In this case also a hardware cryptographic device is used for storing the signature.

Digital Signature

A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that offers more security than a traditional electronic signature. When you sign a document with a digital signature, the signature links a “fingerprint” of the document to your identity. Then that information is permanently embedded into the document, and the document will show if someone comes in and tries to tamper with it after you’ve signed it.

“Digital signatures offer tamper evidence, independent verification and a strict adherence to standards, meaning our customers are not left having to rely on us being around simply to prove that signatures took place, Cygnature backs that up with a highly detailed audit trail which is blockchain timestamped that goes far above and beyond what a majority of the market feels is sufficient.”

Because that information is embedded in the document, you don’t need to check back with the vendor if you want to verify that the signature is still secure. That’s a big benefit if you don’t want to be tied down to one vendor over the life of your documents. On top of that, more countries around the world accept digital signatures because they comply with international standards for security.

 Electronic Signatures

Electronic signatures are popular because they are easy to use. Customers can sign documents online with a click of the mouse or by using their fingers to trace a handwritten signature onto a document.

The downfall of electronic signatures is that they aren’t regulated like digital signatures are. It’s up to each vendor to make their own standards, and you have to take their word for it when they say their signatures are secure.

In fact, electronic signatures don’t have the secure coding that digital signatures have. That technology is what links the signature to the signer’s identity and to the time the document was signed. Essentially, electronic signatures are an image placed on the document, but they can’t show if someone tampers with the document after it is signed.

At Cygnature we combine all of the security of digital signatures with the convenience of electronic signatures using authentication methods on Blockchain technology.

Organizations handle highly sensitive, valuable information, so it’s no surprise that one of the first questions most customers ask is if their information will be protected. With Digital Signatures, customers are assured that their digital information is safe. The technology behind Cygnature signing process is built on blockchain , so that whenever a signature is done it is securely hashed and stored in blockchain so that there is no chance of tampering.Additionally, Digital signatures employ certain identity verification methods to make sure authorized users are the only ones that can access and sign documents like Aadhaar, Face, voice, IRIS authentication. With additional security, a tamper-proof seal is applied to a document to turn off all future editing capabilities, giving you further peace of mind that the final document maintains its integrity and validity.Each digital document is also accompanied by a comprehensive audit trail, which tracks each step of the signing process and records vital information, such as the date and time of signing and the IP address of the signers, Browsers, devices, and Geo locations. This allows you to see the progression of the signing process, from start to finish, and what actions took place when.

Maintaining one’s privacy and identity is arguably more important today than ever before. One of the most essential features of an e-signature is that it requires identity verification before signers can access a document. Multi-factor authentication is a security process that requires signers to verify their identity at least two ways. The process combines something you know with something you have or with something you are. The most common multi-factor authentication methods combine email authentication with SMS (text message) verification or knowledge-based authentication. With SMS verification, also known as 2 step verification, the signer receives a one-time passcode via text message that he must input to be authenticated and access the document.Requiring at least two layers of identity authentication greatly reduces the risk of an unauthorized user accessing sensitive documents.With Cygnature you are completely secured as we have bi-factor authentication, wherein we verify email and OTP via phone number. Also Multi factor authentication options are available like Biometric, IRIS, Voice recognition or face recognition.

Organizations handle a lot of paperwork, so anything to make the paper-pushing process more efficient for both staff and customers is a win-win. By introducing Digital signatures, organizations can transition their workflows from paper to digital—streamlining tasks and minimizing the amount of paperwork they must handle. With e-signatures, customers are no longer required to drive to a bank branch to physically sign paperwork, nor do they have to print, sign and scan or mail a document. Customers can sign forms, such as HR documents, contracts, Invoices, PO’s agreement etc remotely—freeing their time and energy to be spent elsewhere.

Organizational staff will also spend less time handling paper documents, including printing, packaging, mailing and storing. By making their work more efficient, they’ll have more time and resources to dedicate to customer service.

As organizations consider making the transition to Digital signatures, it’s important to consider how customers and employees will respond. By preparing yourself to answer their questions, you’ll help them recognize the benefits and feel more comfortable as you adopt this new technology.

In terms of Industry based segmentation it can used in Telecom, Real estate platforms, Law firms, Colleges, Travel portals, background verification by companies, Banks, Hospitals etc. It is a secure form of transacting. Contracts, images, letters, etc., may be digitally signed and sent electronically in seconds. Everyone has equal opportunities to transact business with the private Or public sectors, no matter the distance.

Why has the usage of digital signatures in India increased dramatically in recent years?

The Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA), Government of India (GoI) has initiated MCA21 program, for easy and secure access to MCA services in a manner that best suits the businesses and citizens. MCA21 is envisioned to provide anytime and anywhere services to businesses. It is a pioneering program being the first mission mode e-governance project being undertaken India.

Besides, use of digital signature has also been made mandatory for certain transactions. In certain cases, though usage of digital signature is not mandatory, it offers a lot of convenience over the traditional methods. Thus, the usage of digital signatures has increased dramatically in India in recent years and is very much likely to increase further.