Key Pair Definition and Examples

Understanding Key Pair for e-Signing

In the realm of e-Signing, a key pair plays a pivotal role in ensuring the security and authenticity of electronic signatures. But what exactly is a key pair?

What is a Key Pair?

A key pair consists of two cryptographic keys: a public key and a private key. These keys are mathematically linked, yet they serve different functions in the encryption and signing process.

  1. Public Key: This key is shared openly and can be distributed to anyone. Its primary function is to encrypt data or verify a digital signature.
  2. Private Key: This key is kept secret and only accessible to its owner. It decrypts data encrypted by the public key and creates digital signatures.

How Does a Key Pair Work in e-Signing?

In e-Signing, the key pair ensures the integrity and authenticity of the signed documents. Here’s a simplified workflow:

  1. Creating a Digital Signature:

    • When a signer electronically signs a document, their private key is used to generate a digital signature.
    • This digital signature is unique to both the document and the signer's private key.
  2. Verifying a Digital Signature:

    • The recipient uses the sender’s public key to verify the digital signature.
    • If the public key can decrypt the signature, it confirms the document’s authenticity and that it hasn’t been altered since being signed.

Examples of Key Pair Usage

  1. Contract Signing: A company sends out a contract to a client. The client signs the contract using their private key, and the company uses the client’s public key to verify the signature’s authenticity.
  2. Internal Approvals: In an organization, an employee uses their private key to sign off on internal documents. These are then verified by colleagues using the employee’s public key, ensuring internal processes are secure.

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