Tags: GLobalSign, Digital Signature, Electronic Signature, DIgitization, Digital Transformation

Image: Viewing a Signed Document with a PDF Reader

Document Signing with Digital Signatures

It is pretty common nowadays to use the terms Digital Signatures and Electronic Signatures interchangeably, but they are definitely not the same thing. 

An Electronic Signature is merely a digitized version of a handwritten signature. It is a legal construct with the same legal standing for identity and authenticity as a handwritten signature on a physical document. It is convenient because signers can sign the document online with a click of the mouse or by merely tracing the signature using a finger or a stylus pen. However, it doesn't offer the same level of security as Digital Signatures. It is essentially an image placed on a document and is not tamper-proof.  

On the other hand, Digital Signatures are a type of Electronic Signature. It offers more security than traditional electronic signatures since it's cryptographic in nature, which ensures the authentication, non-repudiation, and integrity of a business document. When you sign a document with a digital signature, the signature links a “digital fingerprint” of the document to your identity. That information is permanently embedded into the document, and the document will be able to show if someone tries to tamper with it after signing.

Read more: How Do Digital Signatures Work

Why should electronic documents be signed with a Digital Signature?

For regulation-intensive industries, data integrity-related violations are pretty common. This includes forms that are incorrectly signed by the wrong individual, missing signature logs, forging of signatures or related documents or use of pre-signed source documents. The following are the benefits of digital signatures:

  • No Tampering - With the level of ease to manipulate electronic documents, Digital Signature guarantees that documents have not been tampered with. 
  • Verified Origin - Ensure the origin of documents. It verifies the signer's identity and that no changes have been made.
  • Track Time Stamps - Know when the document was actually signed.
  • Eliminate Printed Copies - There is no further need to print and sign documents. 
  • Digital Transformation - A great step to digital transformation, removing the need to manually sign with a pen.

Image: Viewing Signature Properties

The Details (refer to the Viewing Signature Properties image)

  • The signature came from a reputable and validated source and is trusted by ADOBE (AATL)
  • The document was signed on 2018/07/12 at 15:10 + 8:00 Hours
  • The name of the Document Signatory and Email is shown
  • Show Signer's Certificate - will even show more data. (Download the example below to see more)

 Download Sample Here

Where Can Digital Signatures Be Applied?

Digital Signatures can be applied to all types of electronic documents, especially the following:

  • Legal Contracts
  • Medical Records Released By Hospitals
  • School Records
  • Certifications Given to Individuals
  • Employment and Other Clearances


For most companies, digital transformation has been a key part of their corporate strategy, and digital signature is one of the areas that present a great opportunity in propelling this shift.  Employees spend countless hours chasing ink signatures and approvals and having to print, scan, fax, or e-mail documents afterward which can be lengthy and prone to process delays. The concern that arises is adopting digital signatures while ensuring compliance with the ever-changing business regulations.


Document Management Systems offer a wide range of security features designed to protect business documents. However, the documents do not receive the same protection once it leaves the system. With the level of technology that we currently have, it also has become easy to forge and make unauthorized copies of documents. This is why it is important for a document management system to have the capability to produce digital signatures. Archive One has partnered with GMO GlobalSign, Inc. to ensure the integrity and security of the business documents. It can help support compliance by validating and auditing digital signature history, providing non-repudiation, signer authentication, and data integrity as its core benefits.

Archive One is a document management system designed to help companies easily classify, store, secure, and retrieve essential company documents that are needed for retention and audits. With the help of our partners, we provide an end-to-end document management solution from scanning to document storage, at a highly competitive price.

Achieve documentation compliance with Archive One! Book a 1:1 appointment now.