According to the FDA 21 CFR Part 11 documentation, a digital signature is “an electronic signature based upon cryptographic methods of originator authentication, computed by using a set of rules and a set of parameters such that the identify of the signer and the integrity of the data can be verified.”

In the context of CMMS software, a digital signature typically requires the signee to verify their identity by entering their username and/or password, verifying that a document, such as a work order, is being signed by the person who claims to have signed it. Since passwords are unique and assigned to specific people, digital signatures provide better assurance about the identify of the signee.

Note that all digital signatures are electronic signatures, but not all electronic signatures are digital signatures.

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