E Signature Technology for Agencies

E signature technology speeds up a variety of document workflows, reducing the time in the review process and saving money on postage and paper as well as faxing. It also reduces the amount of time needed to distribute documents to signers and makes it easier to sign documents online.

A standard electronic signature is a picture of a typed or handwritten name that is attached to digital documents. These kinds of electronic signatures do not include encryption or authentication features or verify the identity of the signer. A more sophisticated eSignature uses verification technology to create a hash of the signature, and links it with a public key that is associated with the signer’s identification. The recipient can decrypt the hash, check it to the public key and ensure that the document hasn’t been altered since it was signed.

A company can enhance the security of electronic signatures by using additional methods for verification, such as passwords as well as two factor authentication and biometrics. These more sophisticated varieties of eSignatures are utilized in cases where there is a greater probability that the authenticity of a signature could be challenged.

Agencies should give special consideration to long-term, electronically-signed records that preserve legal rights. They may require an extended software cycle and it is crucial to ensure the integrity of a record when it comes to upgrading or migration processes. The guidelines for scheduling records from NARA can help agencies to determine the appropriate period of retention for these records.