A digital signature is an advanced electronic signature used to identify the signer of a document or the sender of a message, and to prevent tampering of the content.
Hence, a digital signature serves two main purposes. It makes it possible to verify whether:
- The signer of the document is known and trusted (authenticity)
- The document has been altered since signed (to prevent tampering)
When documents are signed digitally, information required for authentication and tamper protection is added and embedded into the digital document itself.
Digital signatures are commonly used for software distribution, financial transactions, and in other cases where it is important to detect forgery and tampering.
Being an independent trusted third party, providing qualitative and quantitative assessments for a wide variety of business processes, products and services, DNV has decided to implement digital signatures to authenticate certificates, documents and reports (hereafter referred to as documents) issued by the organisation.
Documents with digital signatures are issued in PDF format.
Validation of digital signatures from DNV
Documents created in PDF format can be viewed using any application supporting this format.
A commonly used application for this purpose is Adobe Reader (freeware). Adobe Reader supports digital signatures.
PDF documents signed by a representative of DNV will contain information to authenticate the signer.
A document with a digital signature is recognized by signature field(s) in the digital version of the document. By clicking on the signature field(s), the signature(s) can be validated.
The validation of a digital signature is only possible through the electronic version of the document. Hence, it should be noted that it is not possible to verify if a printed version of a document has been signed digitally. This includes documents even where the graphical part of the digital signature is available on the printout.
Learn how to validate the signature on your certificate
To check that the signature on your document is an authentic DNV signature, you need to accept DNV as a trusted certificate1) issuer on your computer. To learn how to do this, read the step-by-step-instruction Validating digital signatures from DNV in Adobe Reader below.
After completing this procedure once, all subsequent digital signatures from DNV will be validated on your computer automatically. When eMailing your document to others, you should also send them the link (www.dnvgl.com/digitalsignatures) to the page with instructions on how to validate the signature so that they know how to validate the signature on their computer.
The electronic version of the certificate is the original
The digitally signed and electronically distributed document is the original and valid certificate. The integrity of the digital signature is maintained, even if documents are saved, forwarded, renamed or copied. Whenever you are asked for a copy of the document, the most secure way is to distribute it electronically. Then the receiver will be able to verify the authenticity of the certificate.
For any questions, please contact us.
1) The term 'certificate' is in this context used to denote a digital certificate of identity (electronic ID or eID)