The benefits of electronic files are sufficiently well known. By converting your paper documents to electronic files you have access to all your documents from anywhere in the world and you can easily share your documents with anyone all over the globe. In the meantime, you save office space, you maintain an eco-friendlier environment and the ease of storing and searching electronic documents saves both time and money. No wonder our ways of doing business become more and more digital.
Protect sensitive information in your digital documents
And yet a lot of companies and public services still hesitate to make the full switch to digital, because they question the safety and protection level of electronic documents. And rightly so, because unprotected electronic documents can easily fall into the wrong hands or become victim to counterfeiting or tampering. Luckily there are many ways to protect the sensitive information in your digital documents. By using password protection and encryption techniques you can make sure only authorized persons can read, copy, change and/or print the information in your documents. This is a good first step in a safe digital business process. However, it is only a part of the solution, since these techniques do not carry any preventive measures against forgery or identity theft.
Digital seal ensures origin and integrity of electronic documents
How can you really be sure that the invoice you received is indeed the correct one and hasn’t been victim to fraud? Or how can you prove that the contract wasn’t signed by you? By providing your document with a qualified “digital seal” the receiver of such a digitally sealed document can trust that the data in the document has not been tampered with and that its source is identified. A digital seal is essentially the equivalent of the waxed stamp set on old manuscripts where the stamp ensured the origin and the integrity of the document. A qualified time stamp is also an essential part of the digital sealing process, as it creates evidence that the document existed at the time in the time stamp data.
5 Reasons why you should secure your electronic files with a digital seal
- Increased automation and acceleration of business processes
- End to end digital processes from document creation through exchange to archiving allows for less manual interventions and faster handling times
- Shorter response times
- Increased straight through processing
- Improved monitoring of customer response times
- Reduced operational costs in several areas:
- Paper related costs
- Reduced paper usage
- Reduced printer usage
- Eliminated paper handling by workforce
- Transportation costs
- Eliminated Postal charges
- Eliminated Postal charges
- Eliminated costs in handling, managing returns, etc.
- Archiving costs
- Eliminated physical storage
- Eliminated archive handling costs in storing, retrieving, transporting, etc.
- Increased efficiency and collaboration
- Improved auditing and traceability
- Shorter process cycles
- Increased business agility
- Better overall visibility
- Reduced exposure to risks
- Forgery becomes nearly impossible with digital seals
- Data loss of digital documents is less likely
- Fewer errors in paper handling, encoding and archiving
- Environmental benefits through reduced paper work
New eIDAS Regulation paves the way for a trustworthy unified digital market
The new eIDAS Regulation is a major step in moving towards a unified European digital signing/sealing and authentication market, where organizations and citizens can trust the services because they follow the restrictions laid out and are regularly audited.
The eIDAS Regulation stipulates that a qualified electronically sealed document has the presumption of non-repudiation, so integrity of the data and the correctness of the origin are assumed. And when such a document is created with a qualified certificate valid in one European Member State, it’s valid in all. This really allows trustworthy information exchange inside each European country and cross-border, for virtually all documents you can imagine.
Starting from 1 July 2016 the provisions under the eIDAS Regulation (Regulation (EU) N°910/2014) will apply directly in the 28 Member States. How to be ready for it? What’s new? How does it impact market operators? How does it benefit users (citizens, businesses and public administrations)? Find out all you need to know on https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/questions-answers-trust-services-under-eidas.
The DocShifter “digital seal” solution
The European initiative for a unified digital market will drive new initiatives such as a market in trusted services cross Member state boundaries. But more importantly, it has the potential for each organisation to benefit from very quick cost savings in document archiving, -printing and -transporting.
That is why we have included the ‘digital seal’ module in our DocShifter Advanced edition, which makes it possible to provide your documents with a trustworthy digital seal, signature and timestamp.
Do you need other advanced features like PDF/A validation or solutions for processing your OASIS data? No problem, depending on your company’s needs we offer editions which can all be expanded with some optional add-ons.