Back in 2015, relevant persons in the industry valued the digital signature market at $517 million.
Fast forward to 2019, and the industry is growing at a CAGR of 30%. Approximate values released by Allied Market Research show that come 2022, it will be worth $3,440 million.
These kinds of statistics make it clear that while digital signatures have been around for a while, the future will see exponential adoption. That raises a crucial question, why now? Well, for one, information exchanged over the internet has never faced more insecurity than it does at the moment. Case in point, there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds.
Second, factors such as the rise in e-commerce will also fuel the increased use of a digital signature app in the future. However, before diving into these factors in-depth, it important to first consider why implementing a secure electronic signature to communication is crucial.
The Three Main Applications of Digital Signature
Authentication involves verifying the identity of a given user to confirm they are who they say they are. Thus a digital signature will validate the authenticity of the sources of software, messages or digital documents.
Integrity helps in guaranteeing that a message is accurate, real and that no one has tampered with it. Therefore, if a message or digital document carries a digital signature, then it means there was no unauthorized user modification during transit.
Non-repudiation means an undeniable assurance that whoever signed a certain communication cannot later deny they did not sign it. As soon as someone appends an e-signature to communication, then it becomes binding.
With that in mind, the next step is exploring why the digital signature industry is on the rise and why digital signatures are the future.
In the Future, Digital Signatures Will Play an Integral Role in Helping to Secure Electronic Commerce
E-commerce is the act of selling, buying, and exchanging goods and services over an electronic network; for instance, the internet. The foundation of any successful e-commerce transaction is authentication, verification, and security. To achieve this, enterprises employ various measures, but key among them is the use of digital signatures.
Consequently, as the e-commerce industry continues to grow, so then will the demand for electronic signatures grow.
Note that in 2017, e-commerce was responsible for approximately $2.3 trillion in sales. In 2021, the sales will reach $4.5 trillion. With that kind of growth, it follows that more people will have to shift to the use of online electronic signature software in a bid to secure transactions.
Also, people are now more aware of how essential security over the internet is, and as a result, customers will continue demanding better security and authentication before committing to online transactions.
Cyber Insecurity is at an All-Time High and Digital Signatures Will Play a Key Role in Helping Cyber Security Professionals to Keep Up
80% of organizations have experienced at least one cybersecurity incident in the previous twelve months. 20% of organizations say they have experienced at least six cybersecurity incidents.
To put the state of cybersecurity into an even wider perspective, last year, the FBI received 20,373 complaints involving email compromise attacks. Phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks are at the top of the list when it comes to the techniques cybercriminals employ.
One way to curb or mitigate these kinds of attacks is the use of digital signatures. Take, for example, a phishing attack that involves sending a malicious email that appears to be from someone different than the person who sent it.
An employee can receive an email from their CEO with a directive that they should click on a certain link and fill the required details. In reality, the email is from a hacker pretending to be the CEO whose main aim is to steal sensitive information from the employee.
While one might assume that it would be easy to spot a phishing email, statistics indicate that 97% of targeted individuals do not spot a phishing email. That is where a signature app comes in.
The signature app or an online electronic signature software will help guarantee the email is from a given company or department depending on who signed the email.
Similarly, digital signatures will help deal with increasing man-in-the-middle attacks in the future. This is an attack in which a malicious person alters communications while in transit, making the two parties believe they are communicating with each other while, in reality, they are communicating with the hacker.
Remember, as seen above, one of the main applications of digital signatures is integrity, where the recipient of a given communication is assured that the communication is accurate, real and that no one has tampered with it.
Internet of Things is the Future and as IoT Grows, So Too Will Information Insecurity
Come 2020, there will be approximately 200 billion connected devices across the world. While such a large number of connected devices will bring incredible benefits, there is also a risk that cannot be ignored—incredibly sensitive information getting into the hands of the wrong person.
Assume, for instance, that a malicious person intercepts a communication that has information about your health from an IoT device such as a connected pacemaker or a wearable. What is to prevent that malicious person from using that information against you?
Such scenarios will fuel the adoption of digital signatures and the use of online electronic signature software. The software will ensure that any communication sent by a connected device is signed, and as a result, only the recipient can access that information.
In addition to the above factors, online banking will also boost the use of document electronic signature software, signature apps and all manner of digital signatures software. That is because similar to IoT and e-commerce, online banking is a growing industry.
As a result, future use cases will demand that those in the banking industry make use of digital signatures to secure online banking transactions and assure the customers that banking online is just as safe as doing it physically.