Information Technology

Gartner Glossary

Digital Signature

A digital signature is a specific type of electronic signature (e-signature) that relies on public-key cryptography to support identity authentication and provide data and transaction integrity. It is used as a means to reach a goal of providing irrefutable evidence that a specific digital object originated from a specific individual and has not been altered. The authentication mechanism supports the business need of capturing the signer’s intent to sign. Digital signatures are used to support several security functions. However, the focus of this technology profile is on digital signatures used to protect the integrity and authenticity of documents, such as forms, agreements or contracts, and to demonstrate intent to sign.

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