E-signatures or wet signatures — which is best?

electronic signature security

Source: Adobe Stock.

Change is never easy, particularly for organisations that are reliant on legacy systems. So it’s unsurprising that transitioning to digital-only solutions can sometimes feel overwhelming. But when it comes to bolstering security, switching from manual ink-and-paper signatures to electronic signatures (or e-signatures) is hugely beneficial. Here’s why.

Best practice for even the most risk-averse industries

It’s understandable that organisations managing large swathes of sensitive data are often overly cautious about changing their systems. After all, any perceived security gap could, if exploited, result in significant damage to both their bottom line and reputation.

What’s interesting is that organisations within these highly sensitive sectors — such as finance, healthcare and government — have actually been the earliest adopters of electronic signatures. Because of their rigorous security standards, they are always looking for better solutions to protect their sensitive material.

Modern e-signature platforms achieve this by meeting a range of standards such as ISO 27001:2013, SOC 1 Type 2 and SOC 2 Type 2. It’s no wonder these solutions are seeing massive uptake across all industries.

E-signatures are harder to forge

You would be forgiven for thinking the most secure form of signature is created by hand. After all, the flourish of a pen as it inscribes a signature is a pattern unique to the individual. But forgery has been in existence for millennia, with forgery laws dating back to 80 BC.

Thanks to the power of technology, electronic signatures are significantly harder to forge than ink-and-paper signatures. When an e-signature is penned, it automatically creates an electronic record of the activity, which can be accessed later if an audit is required. All of the metadata surrounding an e-signature also acts as a verification tool in case the signature is investigated down the track.

Depending on the platform you use, the e-signature process will be enhanced with additional features such as identity verification, standard templates and real-time field validation. This results in organisations being more confident than ever that their signature process is safe and secure.

Even non-users believe they are more secure

The general consensus among users and even non-users of electronic signatures is that the digital version is far more secure than manual signatures – with 83% of users and 71% of non-users saying so. Compare that to the number of people who believe manual signatures are more secure (17% of e-signature users; 29% of non-users) and you can see just how easy it will be to get company buy-in for electronic signatures.

With 95% of organisations either using e-signatures, evaluating providers or planning to purchase a solution in the future, there’s every reason to make the transition and enjoy greater security of your signatures.

Find out more by reading DocuSign’s whitepaper, 10 Reasons to Adopt E-Signature.

READ NOW: E-signatures: Why they will become integral to doing business


DocuSign helps organisations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act on, and manage agreements. As part of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, DocuSign offers eSignature, the world's #1 way to sign electronically on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time. Today, over a million customers and more than a billion users in over 180 countries use the DocuSign Agreement Cloud to accelerate the process of doing business and simplify people's live. For more information, visit our website or call +61 2 939 21998 or 1800-841-231 toll-free from within Australia.

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