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Digital Signature and its features
The digital signature is the computer equivalent of a traditional handwritten on paper signature, it has the same legal validity and allows you to reduce the preservation costs and documents integrity. It is a particular type of qualified electronic signature based on a cryptographic encryption system with asymmetric keys, one public and one private, correlated to each other.
The digital signature must meet three basic requirements:
• Authenticity: the recipient can verify the sender’s identity;
• Non-repudiation: the sender cannot deny the document he has signed;
• Integrity: the message is not altered along the way from the sender to the recipient.
The digital signature is a tool that both simplifies and speeds up the sending and validation of documents online both for business matters and for relations between citizens and the Public Administration.
In Italy, the legislation governing the digital signature is contained in the Legislative Decree of March 7th 2005, no. 82 of the CAD, acronym for the Digital Administration Code, and has undergone various changes over the time.
According to the definition given in the CAD, the digital signature “must uniquely refer to a single subject and to the document or set of documents to which it is related. The digital signature integrates and replaces seals, punches, stamps, marks and trademarks of any kind for any purpose required by current legislation “.
To digitally sign a document, it is necessary to purchase a kit consisting of a physical storage device, such as a business key or a smart card with a special reader, containing the signature certificates.
The kit can only be issued by one of the certification bodies accredited by the Agency for Digital Italy (AgID), while business owners can also contact the local Chamber of Commerce.
In addition, the digital signature can be obtained using the SPID (public digital identity system) as a recognition system and Namirial is among the certifiers who have made this possibility available.
Remote digital signature: differences with the digital one
The remote digital signature is a digital signature that allows you to sign digital documents in a simple, quick and secure way through the use of a device (smartphone, tablet or PC) connected to an internet network.
This means that no USB, smart card or readers are required: a computer connected to the internet, a signature software to select the texts to be signed and a One Time Password generated by a token or application that guarantees the security of operations are sufficient item to generate a Remote Digital Signature.
Another important difference between the two types of signature concerns the types of certificates they allow to manage. The Remote Digital Signature does not manage the CNS certificate (National Service Card), or the certificate issued on a smart card, which allows access to the sites of the Public Administration such as that of the Revenue Office or the Chamber of Commerce.
Remote digital signature: what are the benefits for citizens
Here are the 7 reasons that make remote digital signature a useful and reliable tool:
- The remote digital signature optimizes the functions of the digital signature and allows you to sign documents quickly, conveniently and securely;
- Activation times are fast and the remote digital signature is valid for 3 years from the date of issue. Furthermore, it can be renewed for a further three years if the request is received within 90 days before the expiration date;
- The private key is stored together with the signature certificate inside a secure remote server based on an HSM – Hardware Security Module;
- The signer authorizes the affixing of the signature through a Token OTP (One time password) security mechanism. The temporary password expires a few seconds after its generation, thus eliminating the risks related to the use of static passwords;
- To sign, all you need is a device connected to the internet such as a smartphone or laptop with a Windows or Mac operating system;
- It is possible to sign a computer document anywhere and at any time without ever printing it;
- Among the documents that can be signed remotely with the remote digital signature there are: public digital identity system activation contract, application for participation in a public competition, electronic invoices, documents intended for the Revenue Office, online application for a regional call, etc.