Digital Signature Certificate the Application Process
Posted: Oct 03, 2022
Understanding Digital Signature
Even among the most acclaimed businesses in India, and the gazetted authorities, very few are familiar with digital signatures - often called digital footprints. The DS for short is becoming vital for online processes wherever foolproof authentication is desired from the person or an organization at the other end. Though digital signatures are becoming in online governmental transactions they are slowly making inroads into commercial transactions as well as personal business communications. The purpose of the signatures is simple authentication of the sender, assure that manipulation of the electronic document or message has not taken place, and non-repudiation means the sender cannot come into the denial mode. Hence authentication of the persona at the other end is the primary function of the digital signatures.
How Digital Signatures are Generated
Before we move ahead, I must clarify that DS is not an electronic signature that we see imprinted on PDFs or documents pertaining to other formats. Digital Signature is a hash value encrypted using a mathematical scheme and is a cryptographical process. Cryptography is a recent science albeit a lot of development work has been carried out by cryptographers. Cryptographical values or hash are indecipherable and need a public key produced by the sender to decipher the message or electronic document.
The decryption is carried out using a hash algorithm, and during the process, a public key along with the hash value is generated. Using the algorithm, two keys are generated one is the private key kept a secret by the sender or key pair generator. The other key is the public key and as the name suggests it is meant for the receiver to decode the message or the electronic document. With the public key, it is impossible to decrypt the message, and if the hacker can do so, it will require a private key to encrypt but then the hash value will change, and the receiver will come to know the tampering that has taken place. Thus, once a hash value is generated it cannot be changed for the document unless it is manipulated. But the user with public matches the has h value generated by the sender and it will be found unmatched.
As long as the private key is kept secure in the sender's hard drive or a password-driven token no forgery can take place. Hence this is one of the most secure methods of online authentication of a sender's identity.
The DSC (digital signature certificate) is used for signing online contracts, tax documents, documents pertaining to legal and healthcare frameworks, GST, e-filing, insurance papers, etc.
How to Get Digital Signature Certificate Online?
The public key generated by the hash algorithm is to be sent along with ID proof documentation when an online application is made. The online application can be made using an email address printed on the certifying authority's website. The certifying authority or CA is authorized by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs or MCA under the aegis of the Information Technology Act.
The documents required to be sent are:
- PAN Card
- Aadhar Card
- Driver's License
- Public Key
- Distinguished Name
The CA checks the signature using the public key and verifies the associated Identity proof documents. This is the first level of verification which is then followed by a video verification where original ID proofs have to be shown. The CA signs the certificate using its digital signature. The price charged depends upon the expiry date which can be as much as three years. The DSC after expiry becomes invalid. When applying to get DSC online make sure of all documents to be sent. Once the verification is complete the digital signature certificate is sent to the applier within five days at the given address.
Uday writes often on Indian wildlife especially about the tigers. He works as a naturalist and is fond of travel. Uday also provides search engine optimization service and website contents in English.