A new method of electronic signature verification for documents sent over the web has been agreed.
XML Signature issued as W3C recommendation
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), made up of leading internet security companies and top industry standards-setting bodies, have said the agreement will help web users to share documents, complete forms and trade images in a safer way.
The new XML-Signature Syntax and Processing standard is now ready to be incorporated into new products and services from companies such as Microsoft, VeriSign and IBM to smaller security software developers, say the group.
The process is relatively simple whereby digital signatures are created and verified using cryptography, known as the science of encoding and unencoding data.
Added to this is the recipient's ability to identify the sender and know that the electronic content is safe to open.
The new standard has moved a step on from existing signature technologies in that it allows the signature to be embedded only with the information available at the time of signing.