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The importance of your electronic signature’s password protection

Like all eSignature apps, Speedy PDF Sign-Offs is designed to replace your wet signature on legal documents. Without them, signing off on issues is a chore of printing a document, signing, scanning and sending. eSignatures are a powerful tool in making signing off on issues easy. However, with power comes risks. An eSignature has the full legal weight of your handwritten signature. That means protecting your electronic signature is just as important. In this article we will clarify how and why your eSignature is legally binding and how it can be protected. Either through memorised password protection or through one time passwords or OTPs.

How are eSignatures legally binding?

For all intents and purposes, eSignatures have the power to ratify legally binding documents and enforce contracts. DocuSign released a comprehensive article on the history of eSignature devices and their legality. They cover a number of different laws which solidify the legality of electronic signatures such as ESIGN. Indeed, Speedy is compliant with FDA CFR 21 Part 11, the FDA’s ruling on which electronic signatures can be used for authentication. Since eSigns have equal weight to handwritten signatures, it’s crucial that you protect them as you would your physical signature.

Ensuring password hygiene

The most basic means of keeping safe online is through password protection. The eSignature app DocuSign does a great job of keeping signatures secure through password protection. Rather than requiring a single password to sign off on an issue, DocuSign offers three layers of defence. To sign off on an issue, you need to log into your DocuSign account and your work email. What’s more, you can create a unique password for each signatory. That’s a pretty secure system and will prevent most phishing attempts. However, that’s only as long as your passwords are strong and unique. 

A weak password presents great risks to the security of your Jira documents and ability to sign off on issues. In order to protect your data and your signature’s validity, it’s vital that you ensure and avoid obvious pitfalls.

We all know that we’re supposed to practise good password hygiene, right? However, how many of us commit to those rules? After all, research indicates that 83% of Americans employ weak passwords. 

How DocuSign uses layered password protection

The obvious solution is to take password hygiene seriously and create unique passwords for every website and online service. However, this can be a more challenging experience than you expect. Not only does this option add to your already overflowing list of passwords, it’s actually pretty tricky to implement. Take the DocuSign example. If you have as many as three passwords, it may be difficult to recreate three long, complex, and unique passwords and then remember them all.

With Speedy, we’re implementing another solution to your password woes. One which is both secure and much easier than remembering a plethora of passwords. Speedy uses your Jira sign-in in combination with One Time Passwords or OTP.

How OTPs can enhance password protection

When you sign off on an issue with Speedy, rather than requiring you to log into a new website, Speedy localises the signing process within Jira. Speedy’s OTP enforces security by bypassing the need to create complex and secure passwords. Rather than memorising yet another password, Speedy uses an algorithm to generate a random six digit code and sends it to each signatory’s email. Every password is unique to the issue and the email recipient. The use of an OTP lets you avoid memorising yet another password, whilst improving your sign-off speed and ease of use. The OTP systems grants multiple layers of security, relying on familiar passwords like your Atlassian and email sign-in, as well as your OTP. There’s no more need to come up with new passwords or avoid the temptation to repeat old ones. Speedy combines security with ease of use by taking the decision out of your hands. 

If you want to check out an article that goes into further detail about the differences between Speedy and eSignature apps that take place outside of Jira, why not check out our article comparing them?

To test out how one time passwords can be effective and help you sign off on issues in minutes, try out Speedy PDF Sign-Offs. You can download it for free on the Atlassian Website and get started with it today.

Blog posts in this series:

  1. Better PDF Exporter or Speedy PDF for Exporting Jira Issues
  2. 4 Ways Speedy External Storage Can Improve Your Workflow
  3. From Jira Cloud to Microsoft Sharepoint with Speedy PDF Sign-Offs