The recent pandemic has led to a real need to go digital, as it has become essential to be able to ensure the continuity of activities remotely, including signing processes. However, many companies still rely too often on handwritten signatures. The paperwork generated by these paper contracts is a huge waste of time for the company and prevents it from really focusing on its core business.
Electronic signature is convenient, easy to use and allows you to sign a document without having to go anywhere. To this end, EVA, the electronic signature platform, enables the creation of a fully digitised document management workflow by providing a user-friendly and secure way to sign documents using an electronic identity card or an ad hoc signature product.
The types of signatures supported by EVA include:
- Qualified electronic signatures: allows the use of smart cards or tokens legally recognised in any EU country to produce an eIDAS compliant signature;
- Advanced electronic signatures: allows the use of SMS or strong authentication to sign.
The use of the electronic signature implies, for the company, taking care of the legal validity of the documents signed electronically. Indeed, presented to the court as electronic evidence, it is important to ensure that the signature is valid as per the law. However, the validity of an electronic signature is not assessed on the same criteria as a handwritten signature. It is therefore important to be prepared by implementing an appropriate validation policy for electronic signatures.
A validation module for a tailor-made electronic signature service
To be valid, an electronic signature, whatever representation it may take, must be associated with a physical person. The signature validation will then consist in verifying that the electronic signature has been carried out in accordance with the company’s expectations in terms of identification of the signatory, the nature of the document and the type of signature. The validation request module will provide this information to the user and determine the conformity of the documents with respect to the risk acceptance criteria previously set by the company. These criteria then define the validation policy.
EVA has recently integrated a module that, recognises a rich diversity of advanced and qualified signatures. This module, based on DSS (Digital Signature Service), the reference implementation in the European Union, is able to support several validation policies simultaneously, that the company may define according to its own needs. In addition, each validation request introduced in the module can be performed in batch, saving time in the document validation process.
DSS report made accessible in relation to the company’s expectations
One outcome of the validation is a PDF document¹ that provides highly detailed yet understandable information regarding the electronic signature(s) on the analysed document and concludes on its validity or invalidity, providing a clear reason with respect to the selected validation policy.
This signed report is then preserved to allow the company to keep track of the validity of the document in case it is needed as electronic evidence later on.
A validation policy that evolves along with the cases encountered
The context of a validation policy might evolve, or new cases of signatures considered to be valid or invalid might be discovered as a result of the company day to day activities.
A team of DSS experts supports the company in maintaining its validation policy (while of course preserving the confidentiality of the documents). When a document is not automatically recognised as valid, the company may decide to send a support request to the Nowina team, which will then analyse the particular use case, consult with the client, and propose an update of the corresponding validation policy.
This module is now available to any company wishing to adopt a policy of validating electronically signed documents, while benefiting from the expertise of a specialist from the field.
Interested in this new functionality? Would you like to know more about it?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
¹The other outcomes are the XML reports standardised by ETSI in TS 119 102-2.