The Israeli legislature, Knesset, recently passed a law that made it legal to use electronic signatures for online transactions. The new legislation was hailed as a revolution by MK Meir Sheetrit, Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee. The law is expected to facilitate online transactions like e-banking, paving the way for paperless transactions in the world of banking and commerce.
Legislations like these are expected to become common in the future as the world gradually shifts towards a paperless society. According to estimates, transactions worth billions of dollars are executed everyday on the net, with a potential for further growth once the reliability of the system is established. The Knesset is pondering over the Biometric law, which is expected to add teeth to this legislation.
What is an Electronic Signature?
Electronic signature is a method of authenticating online transactions in a hassle-free environment, without compromising on security. The system uses electronic signature software called the Signature Verification System to send legally binding electronic documents, using biometric characteristics, which are unique to every individual. The system allocates an area on the electronic document for the signature-to be used when authenticating online documents. The signature is captured by electronic devices like electronic signature pads, writing tablets or a table PC. The electronic signature pad is one such device that uses sophisticated software to process the recorded biometric data like pressure, speed of writing and so on.
Corporation Bank becomes first to implement digital signature verification system
Corporation Bank, a premier public sector bank in India, with over 3500 outlets spread across the length and breadth of the country, became the first to implement a digital signature based authentication system. The service would be extended to all its corporate banking online customers and would be governed by the provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000.
Mr. BR Bhat, General Manager, Corporation Bank, said that the new system would provide an additional line of defense for its online customers, against the increased ferocity of phishing attacks. According to him, Corporation Bank recognized the vulnerability of the current security systems based on pin-numbers and passwords, and therefore, decided to pitch in for the new system to provider a safer banking environment.
Commenting on the precarious state of safety of banking systems worldwide, he said, that cyber crimes have made it imperative for banks to seek newer forms of technology to check the menace of password hackers. Some of these technologies included One Time Passwords, Virtual Key Board, and Dual Passwords. However, of the current systems, only Digital Signature Certificate fulfilled the twin criteria of legal validity and security satisfactorily.