Engineers and architects not only work hard, but sign hard. Plans and blueprints often require a high number of signatures, which can end be staggering before long. For those mindful of cost, consider a 2015 study found that companies in the manufacturing sector use 63% of the paper they print for signing purposes, with an average cost of $1,350 per signer. There is certainly a better way.
Using PKI (public key infrastructure) technology, SSL.com’s document signing certificates can not only help shrink your carbon footprint, but also reduce cost.
Why Does PKI Technology Matter to Engineers?
In a nutshell, PKI is used to manage pairs of public and private cryptographic keys and bind them to the identities of entities, such as persons and organizations, through the issuance of electronic documents called digital certificates. The mathematics behind PKI ensure that if a certificate is signed with a given entity’s private key, anyone with the public key from the pair can:
- Verify that the entity presenting the signed certificate is in possession of its corresponding private key (authenticity).
- Trust that the content of the certificate has not been altered since it was initially generated (integrity).
- Use the public key to encrypt a message that can only be decrypted with its associated private key (encryption).
If a digital certificate is validated and signed by a certificate authority (CA), such as SSL.com, that is trusted by major software providers like Adobe and Microsoft, the identity of the signatory will be trusted by software like Acrobat and MS Office. This technology makes document signing certificates a secure and trustworthy means to digitally sign numerous documents, all with the assurity that the signature truly comes from whom it is purported to come from.
How Can Engineers Use Document Signing Certificates?
A document signing certificate is another type of X.509 certificate. A publicly trusted certificate authority (CA),such as SSL.com, checks information submitted about an applicant and, if valid, issues a signed certificate. The certificate can then be used to create digital signatures.
Document signing certificates from SSL.com are delivered on FIPS 140.2 YubiKey USB tokens. Your private keys are stored on the device, are not exportable, and can only be accessed by a PIN. It fits on your keychain to go anywhere with you for ease of use whenever you need it.
This technology enables engineers to be able to duplicate their signature numerous times digitally, all while maintaining validity and assurance that it is truly their own stamp of approval. It also reduces cost significantly, from the reported average of $1,350 per year per signer, to less than $300 per year.
Document signing certificates issued by SSL.com are implicitly trusted by client software such as Adobe and Microsoft, as well as major web browsers and operating systems. As a publicly-trusted CA, SSL.com’s validation and certificate issuance procedures are subject to regular, rigorous audits to maintain this trusted status.
SSL.com’s document signing certificates also come with S/MIME capabilities, which allows for encrypted email to be sent and decrypted by those within your organization who have been given your public key. This allows for an additional measure of security when dealing with sensitive documents or company information.
Whether you’re looking to cut costs, add authenticity and trust, or just for added convenience when performing digital signatures, a document signing certificate from SSL.com is an excellent choice.