E-Signatures are becoming more commonplace, and quickly displacing “wet signatures” (a term I recently learned, when referring to the primitive practice of using a pen and paper to sign a contract), even in transactions that involve contracts and large amounts of money. I was recently involved in a real estate transaction – for most of us, there is no purchase we will make in our lifetimes on the scale and importance of a real estate transaction – and I was surprised to learn that almost every contract can be signed electronically, and has become commonly accepted for nearly every phase of a real estate transaction.
Read the following article on the SANS website, which discusses this issue: http://www.sans.edu/research/security-laboratory/article/electronic-signature
As my real estate agent told me, “everything is electronic, except foreclosures, short sales, and clients of a certain age”. But what legal concerns might there be in signing all these documents electronically? Are they admissible in court? As IT security experts, what could we look for to help protect our organization’s interest? Also – What are some concepts we learned about in this section of the course that can be used to ensure the integrity of signatures, and where might these protocols and practices fall short? Can you find examples of how these shortcomings are dealt with in systems currently in use since the publication of this article?