Electronic seals are among the cryptographically secured signature procedures that have come to the fore with the eIDAS Regulation. From a technical point of view, seals of this type belong to the category of digital signatures. However, there is a big difference in the use case. Very briefly: The seal is a digital stamp e.g. for companies.
Is there a difference between an electronic seal and a signature?
The decisive difference to the electronic signature lies in the relationship between it and the electronic signature: where a natural person can make a declaration of intent via an e-signature, the electronic seal can be used to represent a legal entity as proof of origin.
What is an electronic/digital seal?
Electronic seals represent data associated with other electronic information. An electronic seal can be used to clearly identify the creator or signatory. At the same time, the seal guarantees the integrity of the data at the end of the sealing process.
For whom is such a seal suitable?
Organizations of all kinds: companies, authorities, etc. can benefit from electronic seals and accelerate business processes. As a rule, trust service providers provide suitable offers in accordance with the eIDAS regulation.
What do you need to seal electronically?
As a rule, there are four things you need: a qualified digital certificate of the organisation, which is on a smartcard. In addition, there is a card reader and widespread software for signing. In any case, you always need this if you want to organise everything yourself to a large extent. But that doesn’t have to be the case. The big advantage is that companies can outsource the entire signing and sealing process to a recognized trust service provider, resulting in efficient signing and sealing processes. It is already possible to initiate the electronic seal process remotely via app or web interface. The trust service provider then seals and signs on behalf of the respective customer. Here you will find an overview of recognized Trust Service Providers.