Digital Signature

Sify offers Digital certificates for a wide array of services and is one of the few players in the market to do so. Digital signatures are used in India for online transactions such as filing annual return, E-tenders, tax E-filing, etc.

A digital signature is a mathematical way of validating the authenticity of a software, digital document or message. Digital signature offers a inherit security to your digital documents by cryptographically encrypting them to validate the authenticity and secure messages. The digital certificate includes details about the public key, the identity ownership and the digital sign of the entity that has issued the certificate.

How Digital signature works?

Digital signature certificates are a type of public key cryptography also called asymmetric cryptography. Using an algorithm one will be able to generate a couple of keys which are mathematically linked to one being private and the other public. In order to create a digital signature certificate, a one-way hash needs to be created upon which the private key is used to encrypt the hash. The reason for encrypting only the hash instead of the entire document or content is that a hash function can convert an arbitrary input into a fixed length value.

The value assigned to the hash is unique to the hashed content. Any changes to the contents even altering a single character can result in a different value. This enables others to validate the integrity of the data by using the key provided by the signer to decrypt the hash. If the decrypted hash matches the second hash of the same content it proves that the data is authentic and not tampered in any manner.

Types of Digital signature certificate

There are different types of digital signature certificates for different purpose

1. Class 1 Certificate
2. Class 2 Certificate
3. Class 3 Certificate

Each of the above mentioned types are associated with a specific security features and the level of security and trust.

Class 1 Digital Certificate can be issued for both business & individual use. These certificates can confirm that the information in the application submitted by the subscriber does not mismatch with the information in the consumer database. These provide a basic level of assurance in an environment where there is a risk of data being compromised but they are not considered to be of major significance.

Class 2 Digital Certificate can be issued for both business & individual use. These certificates confirm the authenticity of the application. These are usually used for filing Income tax documents, registration of companies & VAT.

Class 3 Digital Certificate is the highest level of certification issued, primarily issued for e-commerce application, they can be issued for individuals only after their personal appearance before the certifying authorities. These are issued for e-tendering which is a procurement process that is conducted online.

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