For people new to this area, there can be confusion around the strength and legality of electronic signatures. Typical examples of basic electronic signatures include:
Essentially any mark on a document can capture the intent of the signer to approve or accept the contents. The issue is proving who made the mark and that the document was not changed subsequently. Weak forms of electronic signatures, such as a scanned signature image can be easily copied and the document can be edited by anyone after signing without detection.
Electronic signatures are categorised as follows:
Electronic signatures are summarised as follows:
|“Click to Sign” Signatures||eSignatures with Server Witness||Advanced eSignatures||EU Qualified
|User’s Signature Mark|
|Bind Signer’s ID to Doc|
|Long Term Verifiability|
QES are a more trusted version of AES because they require the highest levels of security for the protection of the user’s signing key and also a formal registration process for the user to verify their identity by a qualified Certificate Authority. From a legal perspective QES can be considered even stronger than handwritten signatures as the burden of proof shifts to the signer to prove that they did not sign!
In addition to the evidence provided by the e-signature itself, SigningHub also provides additional evidence in the form of detailed audit information on all user actions that affect a document. This is available on screen and also as a digitally signed Workflow Evidence Report (PDF), which is made available to provide clear evidence of actions, at precise dates/times, IP addresses, authentication mechanisms, legal notices and signatures applied.