E Signature Technology for Agencies

E Signature Technology for Agencies

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E signature technology can speed up a variety of workflows in documentation that reduce delays and also save money by reducing postage, paper, and the need for faxing. It also reduces the time required to distribute documents to signers, and makes it easier for them to be signed remotely.

A basic electronic signature is a digital image of a handwritten or typed name. Electronic signatures of this kind do not include encryption or authentication features, nor do they authenticate the signature of the signer. A more advanced eSignature utilizes verification technology to generate a hash of the signature, and connects it to a public key that identifies the signer’s name. The recipient can then decrypt the hash and then compare it with the public key in order to confirm that the document has not been altered after it was signed.

A business can improve the security of electronic signatures through additional methods of verification, like passwords or two factor authentication. biometrics. These more sophisticated types of eSignatures can be used in situations where there is a greater chance that the validity of the signature will be challenged.

Agencies should give special consideration to long-term, electronically-signed records that preserve legal rights. Records that are electronically signed may require a longer software life cycle and it is important to ensure that a record’s integrity is protected during any upgrade or migration process. NARA’s guidance on scheduling records can assist agencies in determining appropriate retention periods for these records.

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