English
4 min

Signatures & seals, or how to see an electronic signature

An electronic signature is a sequence of bits attached to an electronic document, which confirms that a declaration has been made by the signatory. However, electronic signatures are created and verified by computers, so their content is rather incomprehensible to the ordinary user. To remedy this problem, we at Autenti have developed and implemented the Signatures & seals – an innovative solution that allows the user to see all the electronic signatures. 

We are used to signing documents by hand. We know where the signatures should be, but we usually don't deal with verifying them. Moreover, in the case of the most important matters, we demand that the signature be made in our presence. Autenti enables both the control of the signing process and the display of the electronic signature on the document, which can be fully verified on the Autenti platform and outside of it.

When creating the Signatures & seals, we made the following assumptions:

  • an electronic signature is created in the PDF document in a way that enables the visual presentation of the entire document and signatures;
  • the signature must meet all the requirements of the technical standards recognised at the European level in accordance with the eIDAS regulation;
  • one document may contain many electronic signatures, including ordinary, advanced and qualified signatures (you can read about different types of electronic signatures in the post What's an electronic signature?;
  • each electronic signature and electronic seal created is visualised in the content of the document;
  • visualisation enables to identify the signatory, the type of signature, the adopted security measures as well as the date and time of signing.

All these elements included in the Signatures & seals are located at the end of each document. They are shown as separate fields, which are visible as active fields in the Adobe Acrobat viewer. Clicking on the signature field shows information about the status of its verification and enables viewing the certificate used to verify digital signatures.

 

Essential aspect of signing documents electronically is integrity, i.e. ensuring that their content hasn't been altered in any way since they were sent. Autenti guarantees the integrity of documents by using electronic seals verified with a qualified certificate. The seal is first applied when the document is sent for signature, and a second time when all signatures have been made. With the final seal, you know that all the signatures that were necessary for the acceptance of the document have been obtained. Each of the seals is made visible on the Signatures & seals and includes the exact time of its creation. The document with the Signatures & seals created in this way may now simply be printed... Oh no! 🙂 At Autenti, we don't do that and we save trees!

Electronically signed documents are, of course, best stored electronically, because in this way all information concerning the validity of the signed document is preserved not only visually, but also cryptographically.

 Our Signatures & seals simplifies and organises the entire process, as well as provides the necessary information for verifiers. Moreover, you always have the signed document at your fingertips – on your phone, tablet or computer. Convenient and easy to read.