Use of Signature Verification Systems
An electronic signature pad can be used to digitally sign an important piece of document which helps in maintaining the integrity of the document. It is a reliable method of sending documents over the internet making it tamperproof and proving that the sender of the message is who they claim to be. This method also guarantees that the content of the message remain unchanged during the process of transfer. The message is automatically time stamped when it is sent; therefore, the sender cannot claim later that the message was not sent by him.
An electronic signature pad can be used to digitally sign any type of document irrespective of the fact whether it is encrypted or not. The digital certificate issued at the time of sending the document can be used to verify whether the document was real or not.
How does it work?
The method of sending the message is very simple. The first step involves attaching the message to the email-note and then obtaining a hash (a summary of the message) with the help of software. After this is done a private key is used to encrypt the hash and this becomes the digital signature of the message. The receiver of the message makes a hash of the message and then uses a public key to interpret the message. If both the hashes match then the message is valid. The utility of this method has found many takers in the software distribution and financial sector because of its ease of use and reliability.
Provisions of the Indian IT Act relating digital signatures
The Indian parliament has ratified the validity of digital signatures in the Indian IT Act giving legal recognition to all electronic records along with digital signatures. According to the guidelines, set by this important legislation, the digital signatures would be implemented by a system of asymmetric crypto and hash function. The system also proposes the usage of electronic records and digital signatures in governmental work.
Applications of Signature Verification Technology in India
Indian Patent Office
The Indian Patent Office used to process patent, copyrights and trademark applications manually. However, the system was inefficient with instances of corruption rife. In order to make the system streamlined the Patent Office modified its application process making it online dispensing with the need of any human intervention. According to the new system, the applications can be filed from anywhere in the world and all the applications are digitally signed with the help of electronic signature software.
Directorate General of Foreign Trade
The DGFT processes request and issues import and export licenses. With hundred of licenses issued daily; the manual process was rife with corruption and abuse. In order to make the processing of licenses more streamlined an online system was implemented which enabled the users to file the applications online under different schemes like DEPB, EPCG leading to better MIS, audit and accountability. Under this system applications were filed online and signed digitally with the help of electronic signature software.
Procurement tenders has been increasing in complexity for some time with the increase in the number of cartels, rigging and leakage of information. In order to remove these advantages an online system of tendering was devised which sought to reduce the human interface as much as possible by allowing the vendors to provide information and quote online. The reliability of the documentation was achieved through a system of digital signatures that was implemented with the help of electronic signature software.