Digital Transformation Glossary

At Conclude we know exactly how confusing and intimidating all the technical jargon can be. So, we have created a handy Digital Transformation Glossary of terms, to help you navigate your way through it!

Digital Transformation Glossary


   Advanced Electronic Signature


An advanced electronic signature (AES) uses similar technology to standard electronic signatures. However, it adds an extra layer of security and reliability by assigning a unique “signing key” to every signatory. As a result, this signing key links a user’s registered and verified identity to each of their signatures, allowing for proven identity.

A digital signature created with a digital certificate from an accredited Authentication Service Provider. This follows a face-to-face identification process with the subscriber. It is deemed particularly reliable in law and is prima facie valid, i.e. is always assumed to be valid and have been applied correctly, to eliminate the burden of proof to the distributing party.” (Source: LAWtrust “What are Advanced Electronic Signatures?, March 29, 2018.

A qualified electronic signature (QES) is slightly better than an AES. Because, the signer’s identity is verified by a qualified Certificate Authority when registering for the digital certificate.

                                                                    Certificate Authority


A certificate authority (CA) is an organization that validates the identity of a person or entity. For example, a website, email address, company, etc.  This validated identity is linked to a specific cryptographic key in the form of a digital certificate.

                                                                    Click-to-sign signature


A Click-to-Sign signature is the most commonly used form of electronic signature. Click-to-sign therefore, allows the user to enter a simple signature (typically a typed name, ID number, or template image signature) to acknowledge what they’ve signed and identify themselves as the signatory. In other words, these signatures are mainly for simple things like deliveries. They offer no real certification of the signee and offer very little legality or protection. Therefore, it is difficult to confirm who actually signed the document.

                                                                      Digital Certificate


A digital certificate is a cryptographic key that authenticates the identity of a person or entity. Therefore, it serves as a credential to validate that entity is who they purport to be. Similarly, it serves as a digital ID or passport. A digital certificate also provides security by enabling the encryption of data traveling over a network such as the Internet. Ensuring the integrity of electronic documents signed with the certificate so that they cannot be altered in transit. 

                                                                   Digital Signature

A digital signature is a specific technical implementation of an electronic signatureand is characterised by a “digital fingerprint” that is embedded in the document. Use of a required digital certificate, links the signer to the document. The digital certificate is often issued and authorised by a designated Certificate Authority

People often use the terms “electronic signature” and “digital signature” interchangeably. However a digital signature is a highly secure type of digital signature, and currently has the highest trust and authority for e-signatures.

Advanced and qualified e-signatures are the two types.

                                                                   ECT Act


The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002, the South African law that regulates electronic communications and transactions.

Find out more about the ECT Act here

                                                                    Electronic Signature

Electronic signatures or eSignatures are electronic methods of applying a signature to a document. For example, any electronic symbol, process or sound applied to a record with the intention of signing the record or document.



According to the ECT Act, a “Standard Electronic Signature” is “data attached to, incorporated in or logically associated with other data and is intended by the user to serve as a signature”. This type of signature uses digital tools or a scanned copy of the signatory’s handwritten signature.



The technology used to secure an internet connection is Secure Socket Layer/Transport Layer Security .  SSL uses encryption to “scramble” data so that anyone who tries to intercept it, will not be able to decode it.  On the other hand, TLS is a more modern, secure version of SSL.

                                                                    STEAM fields


STEAM fields are the areas of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. Variations of definitions for the “A” exist. However, no other definition formally defines the arts with research or links the disciplines together as a whole with research.


The  POPIA is the Protection of Personal Information Actwhich sets forth the conditions which need to be followed by businesses and organisations, to protect the use, distribution, and processing of people’s personal information. In short, the POPIA serves to protect the consumers involved from harm. This includes theft, discrimination, improper distribution or unsolicited electronic communications.


Hope our Digital Transformation Glossary page could help navigate better!









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