Cybersecurity and eSignatures: how secure is signing online?

Cybersecurity and eSignatures: how secure is signing online?

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Staying safe online and protecting your business against security breaches and cyber-attacks is crucial in today’s technology-dependent world. 

Although modern technology brings us many benefits, from near-instant access to online information, to the convenience of smart home automation technology, it’s important to remember that potential threats lurk behind every device and platform. 

So just how secure is signing online? Many people often wonder whether e-signature software can be as secure as traditional wet signatures but the truth is that in many ways, they’re even more secure. 

Here’s everything you need to know about electronic signatures and cybersecurity.

What is cyber security? 

First, let’s bring it back to basics: Cyber security is an umbrella term used for the protection of computer systems, networks and data from malicious cyber attacks. 

When we talk about cyber security, we’re usually referring to the technology, processes or controls which are put in place to defend against the unauthorised exploitation of these systems. 

Why is cyber security important?

Cyber security is important because it protects all categories of data from theft or corruption. This includes sensitive company data or personal information, intellectual property and industry informational systems. 

Without investing in a cybersecurity program, you leave your organisation at risk of cybercrimes such as data breach campaigns or ransomware attacks. 

Security risks of paper signatures 

We often get asked how the security standards of electronic signing compare with traditional handwritten signatures so let us dive into some of the issues with pen and ink. 

Typically, the validity of wet signatures rely on testimonies from handwriting experts or witnesses who were present at the signing. Not only is this both expensive and time consuming, but it depends solely on the human element, which is less reliable than digital data.

Furthermore, in today’s world of working from home, it can be risky business to use handwritten signatures: pets, children and spilled coffee are just some of the threats facing paper documents, not to mention floods, fires and other natural disasters. 

You could of course make copies but that introduces opportunities for tampering. Alternatively, you could scan your paper documents and upload them to the cloud, but that’s just an e-signature without the all important cybersecurity technology!

Why eSignatures are the way forward

With e-signature software, there are many controls put in place to ensure a secure signing process as well as proof of transaction:

Two Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a security method which, as the name suggests, requires two forms of identification to access resources and data. At Signable, we use 2FA as an added layer of security when logging into your account.

To break it down, 2FA consists of a combination of any two of the following three elements:

  • Things you know, such as a password or PIN.
  • Things you have, such as a badge or mobile phone.
  • Things you are, such as a biometric like fingerprints or voice recognition.

Signable utilises password protection (something you know) and authentication from an authenticator app installed on your mobile device (something you have).

Once you’ve linked your authenticator app with your Signable account, each time you log in, you’ll use your password AND a code generated by the authenticator to access the service. 

Using 2FA means your account is significantly more secure and minimises the risk of a data breach.

Remember though, this is a feature that must be turned on manually in your Signable account. Details on how to do this can be found here, or in the video below.

Ironclad audit trail

Unlike handwritten signatures, which offer no record of a transaction, digital signatures come with an electronic footprint, providing proof of the event. 

This audit trail includes details such as when the document was opened, viewed and signed, and provides a detailed history of any actions taken within the document. If one of the signers should dispute their signature, or if there are any queries about the transaction, this audit trail is available to all parties and can be used to resolve such objections. 

Certificate of signature 

The certificate of signature is an important document that is received once the transaction is complete and includes detailed information such as:

  • Who each signing party is
  • Dates, times, IP addresses and fingerprints
  • A full audit log or audit trail

SSL encryption 

SSL can be summed up as:

“the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private.” 

What this means is you can be safe in the knowledge that the information you share when you sign digital documents remains secure. At Signable, our website is encrypted with SSL, meaning no one can snoop on your password or the documents you send and sign using our services.

When searching for the right e-signature solution for your business, look for one which offers all of the above. This way you can rest assured that your sensitive information will remain secure.

Sign documents securely with Signable

We understand that security is your number one priority when it comes to investing in an e-signature solution, which is why we provide the following services:

  • eIDAS regulation compliance & exceedance of UK eSign act regulation
  • Detailed audit log stored for each signature action
  • Identification of users verified before permitted to send documents
  • Document integrity checked, always
  • Unique fingerprint IDs for each document
  • Secure storage of documents and data
  • Signatory identity verified via email address, timestamps and geo-tracking
  • SSL 256-bit AES/RSA encryption
  • Only you and people you’ve authorised can access documents

Find out more about our compliance and data security.

Don’t just take our word for it. We’re offering a 14-day FREE trial so you can test the full Signable experience before committing to one of our flexible plans. 

Sign-up for the free trial here.