We could all use a little good news right now, other than the cast of Hamilton reuniting over Zoom (although that certainly helps). If you’re like the majority of organizations around the globe that had no choice but to give employees immediate “work from home” orders – essentially upending business as usual – you’ve surely realized that adjusting to this new normal isn’t going to be a quick or seamless process. It’s a struggle. The challenges you face from your remote office look quite different than those you faced before.
Accounting, HR, and legal departments are just a few areas which have seen their workflows dramatically impacted by this crisis. Where they once could have walked a contract over to the necessary signer, they are now separated by many miles and strict orders to remain apart.
Luckily, there is help available. In fact, our partners at Adobe are offering a free 90-day trial of their electronic signing services to take one thing off your plate during this unprecedented time.
A Quick Refresher on E-Signatures vs. Digital Signatures
We’ve covered this in a previous blog but now seems like a good time to review the differences between electronic and digital signatures. In the most basic terms, an electronic signature is the digitized equivalent of a “wet-ink” signature and can be used in the same ways you might apply a handwritten signature to paper documents.
While electronic signatures satisfy a variety of use cases for a growing remote workforce, many organizations find themselves needing a digital signature – which acts as a form of “digital ID card” and can verify the identity of the signer and also ensure a document’s contents haven’t been tampered with. This type of signature is commonly used on documents which are legally binding or which contain sensitive information, such as financial details.
That’s because behind the scenes there are complex cryptographic mechanisms at work – capturing the moment a document was signed and using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology to associate the signature with a specific person. Encryption plays a role in making sure that the document’s contents have not been altered in transit.
You have a few option in terms of how you apply a digital signature – it may look similar to an electronic signature or it might simply take the form of a blue ribbon in the task bar – but, ultimately, a digital signature will tell you these three key pieces of information:
- The document is authentic and comes from a verified source
- The document has not been tampered with since being digitally signed
- Your identity has been verified by a trusted organization (the Certificate Authority or CA)
The important words to remember are identity and integrity. With the increase in online scams and cyber attacks that we’ve been seeing in recent months, identity and integrity are quickly becoming a company’s most valuable assets.
Digital Signatures for the Workforce of Today – and Tomorrow
At GlobalSign, we recognized the pain-points associated with digital document signing years ago. Thanks to our background in PKI, we are uniquely qualified to offer a range of digital signing solutions which not only offer signer identity validation and ensure document integrity, but also meet industry- and country-specific regulations surrounding the use of electronic signatures, including:
- US ESIGN (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce)
- FDA CFR 21 Part 11
- US UETA (Uniform Electronic Transactions Act)
- US State Professional Engineering (PE) Seals
- UN Model Electronic Signature Law
- Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)
- eIDAS (advanced & qualified e-signatures, eSeals)
In many industries, and for a wide range of businesses around the world, the Coronavirus pandemic has been the push they need to move into the next phase of their digital transformation. Take education, for example. It’s a good reminder that there’s no time like the present to start preparing for whatever the future may hold.
If you haven’t yet made the switch to a secure digital signing solution, we want to help ease the transition, which is why we’re offering substantial discounts on our digital signing services to qualified customers through May 30, 2020. Register now to learn more about how you can start signing – and saving – today.
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