Digital Signature vs Digital Certificate

The best common digital signature vs digital certificate difference is that digital certificates attach a digital signature to an entity. A digital certificate is a file that confirms the identity of the holder and provides security. Many questions arise in people’s minds. Here’s the solution, digital signature helps to deal with it.


A digital signature is used to verify whether a digital message, document, or transaction is not forged and is authentic. It guarantees that a message or document was generated by the sender and has not crossed the hands of any third party. It is an electronic encrypted mark added for the authentication of digital data. It confirms that the information that originated is not forged. It furnishes extra information about the sender’s identity, and status, as well as acknowledging the content by the person who has sent it. Few reasons are mentioned below for applying a digital signature to communications: 

Authentication: although messages may often include the sender’s identity and origin, they cannot be trusted. In such cases, digital signatures can be used to authenticate messages. High confidence in the sender’s authenticity is highly confidential, especially in financial issues. 

Integrity: many times, many of them might have trust issues upon the sender’s signature that, might be altered by the third party. In case there are any changes made by some third party the digital signature invalidates the certificate. 

Non-repudiation: non-repudiation origin is one of the important aspects of digital signature. By this, an entity who has signed a certificate cannot mispronounce that he hasn’t signed it. Access to the public key only doesn’t enable a fraudulent party to fake a certificate. 

Digital signatures use a standard acceptable format called public key infrastructure (PK). It allows a high level of security with universal acceptance. Digital signatures have the same legal base as that traditional ones. 



The Information Technology Act, 2000 has provisions for using digital signatures on electronically filed documents to ensure high security, authenticity, and integrity. He found a way to electronically submit documents in a secure manner. The legal caveat is that you can only use the digital signature that has been assigned to you, if it is found that you are using someone else’s documents you will be treated as a fraud. There are eight certification agencies under the provisions of the ID Act of 2000. Certification agencies are appointed by the Office of the Comptroller of Certification Agencies. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has stipulated that a Class 2 or above certificate can be upgraded to Class 3 instead of processing a new Class 3 certificate.

In today’s fast-paced technological world, physical signature certificates have gone a step ahead and converted to digital media for security reasons. Simply put, Digital Signature Certificates are those which will be issued through online mode and are at par with physical certificates like passport, license or any other certificate.


Benefits of Digital Signature Certificate:

Apart from authenticating the identity of the certificate holder, DSC also includes many other benefits, let me give a clear perspective:

Security enhancements: The enhanced security of the DSC offers the option of less forgery, increasing less tampering with records, or making changes to the certificate that no one other than the user can make. It also protects against unauthorized access to documents, files and records. Ultimately, this forces a large number of applicants to apply for these Digital Signature Certificates.

Time Efficiency: Digital Signature Certificate ensures hassle-free workflow in an organization. The entire process takes place at the click of a button in just a few steps, which saves a lot of time.

Cost Efficiency: It is available at a very affordable cost as compared to many other documents and certificates. Its use will also be valid for a slightly longer period and its renewal is cost-effective.

Legal Validity: The Digital Signature Certificate can also be used as evidence in a court of law. It makes sense that it is considered highly powerful and secretive. A DSC also helps in establishing the authenticity of the document which can be used as effective evidence in proving fraud.

On Click: Since the signatures are in virtual format, they can be signed in one go, it is slightly cheaper as well as a faster process.

Anyone who is required to sign manual documents and return ROC files; According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, directors, auditors, bank officials, company secretaries and other authority signatories find this certificate mandatory.

Who needs Digital Signature Certificate?


Digital Signature Certificate has been made mandatory for certain services, user categories whose accounts are to be audited under section 44A of the Income Tax Act, such as e-payment of returns filed by various companies or individuals as well as political parties verification. For others it is optional. Anyone who is required to sign manual documents and return ROC files such as directors, auditors, bank officials, company secretaries and others hold this certificate as mandatory as per the ministry of affairs. It is also mandatory for individuals or companies whose annual turnover is 25 lakhs and above. Businesses with a turnover of around 1 crore and above are also required to have a Digital Signature Certificate. Again, it is mandatory only for those directors who are authorized signatories of the company and are deemed fit to sign, who are required to take DSC signature.