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Digital Signature Standard (DSS) Explained

In online activities such as electronic funds transfer, electronic mail, software distribution, data storage as well as application requiring a high level of data integrity assurance, Digital Signature Standard initialized as DSS is used.


Many digital signature app platforms are guided by the DSS set of standards and procedures to ensure that they work within the legal framework to help protect the parties involved in document signing and authentication. It also helps protect and secure the documents so that they are only accessible in the right manner and by the right individuals or organizations.

The Digital Signature Standard may be implemented in firmware, hardware, or software. An algorithm is used in Digital Signature Standard and it’s referred to as Digital Signature Algorithm.

In this algorithm, two large numbers are used and these numbers are calibrated or calculated based on some unique algorithm. The unique algorithm takes into considerations the parameters that determine whether a signature is authentic or not.

By checking the parameters, it also indirectly helps to verify if the integrity of the data embedded on the signature upholds.

Difference Between Encryption and Digital Signature Standard

Digital signatures are generated only by the individual authorized to use their private keys while the users or the public are able to verify the signature using the public keys they have been provided with. That being said, there is one key difference that is witnessed in encryption and signature operation within the Digital Signature Standard.

The difference is that encryption is reversible but the digital signature operation isn’t. Another inherent difference between Digital Signature operation and encryption is that the former does not have the capability to initiate processes like the exchange of keys or key distribution.

What this means is that the security of the Digital Signature Standard fundamentally depends on the level of secrecy of the signatory’s private keys. Your digital signature healthcare solutions are protected and admissible when they are conducted under the Digital Signature Standard guidelines.

Digital Signature Standard works by ensuring that the digital signature is capable of being authenticated and at the same time the electronic or digital documents that carry the eSignature are secure. In addition, the standard ensures there is no repudiation when it comes to the signatures.

It provides safeguards to prevent imposters from taking charge. Moreover, the standard ensures the electronically signed documents can be tracked when in the signing process.

So, a Digital Signature Standard is an important element in eSignatures because it helps make the signing process secure while also allowing the documents to be tracked throughout the different signing steps and processes.

DSS Developed by the National Security Agency (NSA)

Digital Signature Standard which exists in the form of a digital signature algorithm (DSA) is developed by the National Security Agency of the US, popularly known as the NSA. The algorithm helps to generate a digital signature to help with authentication of documents send electronically.

In 1994, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) brought DSS into view and from then, it has been regarded as the government standard for authenticating electronic documents in the United States and the standard is specified within the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 186.

When using digital signature software for the financial industry you are confident that the information and documents are protected because the eSignature solutions are provided within the set standards and procedures as represented by the Digital Signature Standard.

Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) comprises a pair of huge numbers computed depending on the specified algorithm. Since the numbers are calculated based on parameters specified by the algorithm, it helps authenticate the signatory to access the document.

It also helps show the integrity of the attached data. Digital signatures are produced through the Digital Signature Algorithm; it’s also the DSA that helps in verifying the eSignatures.

The digital signatures are generated together with the application of a private key. In this case, verification occurs in reference to the corresponding public key.

Every signatory or person signing the document has their pair of public and private keys. The public key is assumed that it has been known to be public while the private key is said to be only known to the user.

Since a signature is only generated by a person who is authorized to use their private key, it means that the corresponding public key is able to be used by any individual to verify the signature.

In this process, a data summary containing the information is created, and it’s called a message digest. That data summary or message digest is created using a hash function known as the Secure Hash Standard (SHS).

It is usually specified in FIP 180. It is that data summary which is used alongside the DSA algorithm to help in creating the digital signature that a person sends with the message.

Using the same hash function, the signature verification is done.

One area that benefits from DSS procedures and standards is the real estate. The eSignature solutions for real estate need to be offered within an acceptable standard to ensure their legality and admissibility.

Without proper security and protection of the document signing processes in real estate agreements and leases, it would be chaotic for the parties involved. It would result in signatures that are not validated, accepted, admissible, or even secure.

That’s why it makes sense for the service providers of eSignature solutions to ensure they offer their online signature technologies in accordance to the DSS.


In essence, Digital Signature Standard entails a collection of standards and procedures used to generate a digital signature for authenticating documents transmitted through electronic means. The aim of using DSS is to enhance the security of online documents.

Without standard procedures and security of online documents, businesses and individuals wouldn’t be able to trust the sources of documents if they are not authenticated and validated. It would also result in conflicts and disputes when there is lack of trust in documents because they aren’t validated and properly authenticated.

By validating signatures and the data contained in the signed documents, it reduces the chances of having security loopholes in document accessibility. It helps instil a sense of security when transmitting documents online.

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Category: Business Services OutsourcingCompany about: CIS Established in 2003, Cyber InfraStructure Pvt. Ltd. or CIS is a leading IT and custom software development company in Central India, USA and UK. Since 2003, CIS has been providing highly optimized technology solutions and services for SMEs and large scale enterprises across the world. CIS has worked with 2100+ clients in more than 100 countries. Their expertise and experience ranges across a wide range of industry domains like education, finance, travel and hospitality, retail and e-commerc ...
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