Difference between digital certificate and digital signature

Do you know the difference between digital certificate and digital signature? Although they are interrelated concepts, the truth is that it is important to know their differences to be able to use them correctly in our processes.

Therefore, in this article we tell you what they are and what is the difference between digital certificate and digital signature and how you can use both resources in your company thanks to Viafirma’s solutions.

The difference between digital certificate and digital signature: Are they the same?

The digital transformation has brought with it new technologies and concepts that can often be difficult to understand or distinguish from each other if you are not properly informed.

The similarity between them, together with the fact that the Public Administration treats them as synonyms, causes us to confuse their meanings and use them incorrectly.

What is a digital certificate?

The digital certificate is an electronic file issued by a Trusted Authority that links and identifies a person unequivocally and allows him/her to carry out transactions over the Internet.

It can be requested through the website of any Qualified Service Provider. The most used, but not the only one, is the one issued by the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre through its department CERES (Spanish Certification), and has a large number of uses.

What is the digital signature?

A cryptographic mechanism used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital document. It also serves to confirm that the message has not been altered since the time it was signed by the originator (integrity).

It has three basic features:

  • Authentication of origin: we know with total certainty who has made the signature.
  • Non-repudiation: the person who has signed cannot repudiate having done so.
  • Integrity: it is demonstrated that the document has not been modified a posteriori.

With the digital signature you will be able to use different mechanisms to sign documents digitally in a legal way and without the need for the parties to have a certificate.

Types of digital signature available with Viafirma

Once clarified the difference between digital certificate and digital signature, from Viafirma we offer different options, according to the nature of the documentation to validate or the type of process to be covered:

  • Biometric signature. It is a signature made on specific tablets such as Wacom, Topaz or iPad using a precision stylus pen capable of collecting a series of biometric data (pressure, orientation, stroke speed, etc.) that allows to identify the signer unequivocally and granting it a legal validity equal or superior to that of the signature on paper.
  • OTP SMS. It is a secure authorization method in which a numerical code is sent by text message to the cell phone of the interested party to sign a document.
  • Centralized/cloud signature. It was born with the idea of being able to carry out procedures from anywhere. It takes advantage of cloud technology to control, store and manage digital certificates securely, so you can sign and perform online procedures from any device and place.
  • Signature with digital certificate. It is a signature made with a digital certificate issued by a Trusted Provider (for example, Thomas Signe in Colombia or FNMT in Spain) that validates the signature and the signer’s identity.

Use your digital certificate and the digital signature in your company with Viafirma

Any Viafirma software will allow you to validate a document with a previously configured digital certificate (either by uploading your individual or corporate certificate or using the one that comes installed by default), so that the integrity of the document is always guaranteed.

Our tools allow signing and requesting signatures from any device and place, allowing 100% remote formalization, turning tedious paper-based procedures into efficient digital processes.

This type of solutions are really useful in the context of the digital transformation that many companies are currently carrying out and whose main virtue is the mobility it brings to the work system.


    La mejor solución de firma electrónica para tu empresa

    Scroll to Top