SMP Mobile

E Signature Technology for Agencies

E signature technology can speed up a variety of processes in document management, reducing delays and saving money by decreasing postage, paper and sending faxes. It also reduces the time it takes to distribute documents to signers and increases the ease with the ability to sign documents from remote locations.

An electronic signature is an image of a handwritten or typed name that is attached to digital documents. Electronic signatures of this kind do not include security features, encryption or authentication, or verify the identity of the signer. A more sophisticated eSignature utilizes verification technology to create an encrypted hash of signature data and links it to a public-key associated with the electronic identity of the signer. The recipient can decrypt the hash and compare it to the public key and confirm that the document has not been altered since it was signed.

A business can improve the security of electronic signatures through additional authentication methods, including passwords as well as two factor authentication and biometrics. These more sophisticated forms are utilized when there is an increased chance that the authenticity of the signature will be challenged.

Agencies should give special consideration to long-term, electronically-signed records that preserve legal rights. Records that are electronically signed may require a more lengthy software life cycle and it is important to ensure that a record’s integrity is maintained throughout any upgrade or migration process. The guidance provided by NARA on records scheduling can help agencies determine the most appropriate timeframes for the retention of these records.


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