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How Digital Signatures Help Ensure PDF Security

In this Article

    What Is a Digital Signature?

    Digital signatures are unique to each signatory and act as electronic identifiers that securely connect a signer and a document in a recorded transaction.

    What Does This Mean Technically?

    A digital signature is the term given to a type of eSignature that is based on public key infrastructure standards and allows individuals to sign documents in compliance with country or industry-specific regulations.

    What Is A Public Key Infrastructure and How Does It Help?

    Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a set of requirements that grants the creation of digital signatures. With PKI, a mathematical algorithm is used to generate two long numbers called keys. Each digital signature transaction has a public key and a private key. The public key is openly available and is used to validate the signer’s electronic signature. Unlike the public key, the private key is not shared and is used only by the signer to sign documents electronically. A PKI also enforces other requirements such as the Certificate Authority (CA), a digital certificate, end-user enrollment software, etc.

    How Do Digital Signatures Work?

    When users electronically sign a document, signatures are made with the signer’s private key. The mathematical algorithm is used as a cipher to create data matching the signed document to encrypt the data. The encrypted data is then called the digital signature and is marked with the time the document was signed. Any changes to the document after it was signed makes the digital signature invalid.

    When Are Digital Signatures Used?

    As is the case with written signatures, the purpose of a digital signature is to verify that the authenticity of the signing individual. A digital signature creates additional security by preventing forgery or changes to the document after it’s signed.

    What Is the Difference Between Electronic Signatures and Digital Signatures?

    Electronic signatures (eSignatures) is a broad category that includes different types of electronic signatures, including digital signatures.

    A digital signature itself is not a type of electronic signature. Instead, the term digital signature refers to the encryption and decryption technology that secures the data associated with the signed document and helps verify the authenticity of a signed record.

    Additional PDF Security Solutions – How SEAL Systems Can Help

    Electronic signatures have some alarming security gaps. For example, it is possible to make changes to a document with a PDF editor that can’t be tracked. Fortunately, digital signature technology closes the gap with added security and SEAL Systems’ products and solutions for signing PDF documents provide benefits like password protection and digital rights management.

    Password Protection

    SEAL Systems’ Password Protection feature gives users the ability to set open, print, change functions, and control access to contents when setting up a document processing job. This ensures that only authorized parties have access.

    Digital Rights Management

    SEAL Systems’ Digital Rights Management solutions provide the required document protection for use in a multi-user environment. This ensures your documents are protected and you have complete data control at every stage of a project.

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