Digital signature vs Digital certificate

A digital signature differs from a digital certificate in that the certificate binds the digital signature to the object, whereas the digital signature must ensure that the data or information is secure from the moment it is sent. Digital certificates are used to validate the sender's identity and digital signatures are used to validate the data sent. So here this article gives the difference between digital signature vs digital certificate to better understand this topic.

What is a digital signature?

A digital signature is a technology that is used to validate the authenticity of a digital document, message, or transaction. It ensures the recipient that the message was created by the sender and has not been altered by a third party.

What is a digital certificate?

Digital certificates function similarly to ID cards such as passports and driver's licenses. Digital certificates are issued by the government. When someone requests it, the authority verifies the requesting personal identity certifies that the request meet all of the requirement for obtaining the certificate and then issues it.

Digital signature vs digital certificate:

  • A digital signature is like a fingerprint or an attachment to a digital document that ensure its authenticity and integrity. While the digital certificate is a file that ensures the holder's identity and provides security.
  • A digital signature verifies the identity of the individual sending a document, while the digital certificate help establishes the legitimacy of ownership of online platforms such as email or websites.
  • The digital signature hashed value of the original message is encrypted with sender secret key to generate the digital signature, while the digital certificate is generated by CA called certifying authority that involves four steps: key generation, registration, verification, creation.
  • A digital signature is provided security services like the authenticity of the sender, the integrity of the document and nonrepudiation, while the digital certificate provides security and authenticity of the certificate holder.
  • A digital signature is created with a digital signature standard using SHA-1 or SHA-2 algorithms, while the digital certificate is created in the X-509 formate. 
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