As the digital reality grows, so does the desire to move more and more processes to this world. Accelerated by the pandemic crisis that emerged in 2020, the digitization of processes in companies has gained more pace and less resistance. In this context, there is a greater need to find mechanisms that attribute, to these digital processes, a level of credibility and security that is equal to or greater than that found in the physical world. For this purpose, in addition to the European legislation created specifically for this purpose – eIDAS – various types of certification have emerged, using more or less sophisticated technology, which are applied to the different digital objects (documents, signatures, senders, identities, etc. .) and always with the aim of giving credibility to digital documents and their respective issuing entities.
What certificates can I need?
Although this is a constantly evolving reality, at this time at Contisystems we focus on certification associated with three types of objects: pdf documents, emails and the signing of documents and contracts. With different options, equivalent to different levels of complexity and security, the certification of each of these objects allows us to associate, with the services already provided under our Unicks platform, an additional layer of credibility and security.
- To Batch Producer (which ensures the production of batch files, in this case pdf documents) we associate the ability to certify the origin of the pdf document as well as the affixing of a time stamp of the date and time when it was created. This is the application to pdf documents of our Certifier block.
- To the Omnichannel Sender (which ensures the sending of communications, in this case emails) we associate the ability to certify the sending and follow the route of the email until its delivery, opening, consultation of attached files and downloading them. This is the email application of our Certifierblock.
- In a combination of the two previous blocks (Batch Producer and Omnichannel Sender) we can build customized files and send them for signature collection by email. And so is the application of the Certifierblock to the signing of documents and contracts.
Certification of pdf documents
There are three types of pdf document certification:
When you want to identify the issuer of the document. In this case, the implementation involves placing, in the pdf files produced, a simple certificate acquired by the customer that certifies the entity that originated the document.
When you want to identify and prove the identity of the issuer of the document in question. In this case, the implementation involves placing, in the pdf files produced, an advanced certificate acquired by the client that certifies the entity that originated the document, with additional forms that prove their respective identity (eg. biometric data).
According to law (DL) No. 28/2019, it is mandatory that the fiscally relevant documents transacted digitally have a qualified electronic certificate. In practice, this means that a qualified certificate is required and must be issued and affixed by a certifying entity (CA), document by document, using a secure signature creation device. This certificate will guarantee that the document was generated by the identified entity, at a specific date and time and with the highest level of security for having been affixed by the certifying entity.
Certification of outgoing emails
Depending on the scenario, email tracking may make sense with different levels of detail, namely:
- The certification of delivery: If you want to have a document that proves that the document was actually delivered to the specified recipient
- The opening certification: If you need to have proof that the email or even the attached document has been opened
- The download certification: If you want to have certified information about the opening of the email as well as the download of each of the attached documents
The aforementioned proof documents are legally valid, which makes this service a digital equivalent to the traditional registered mail.
The certification of documents and contracts signature
There are many scenarios in which you need to record someone’s express agreement with a document. Whether for accepting the terms and conditions of a service, agreeing to a minute or even signing a contract between two parties, there are many applications for this option of the Certifier module. We leave some tips on how you can address each type of agreement:
- Simple agreement: You can send a document in which filling out a check box or using OTP (one time password) the user will express his agreement.
- Advanced agreement: You can send the document with the space for an autograph signature. The biometric trace register is made and the option can be complemented with OTP.
- Qualified agreement: Using specific identity certificates, such as the Digital Mobile Key associated with the citizen’s card, you can have a totally secure signature.
Who issues these certificates?
All the partners with whom Contisystems works with a view to issuing certificates are CA (Certification Authority) identified as trusted service providers by the European Union. However, if you already have your own certificate provider, we can use any provider that is recognized as a trust service provider.
What certifications do I need in my company?
This will depend on your industry, since the applicable use cases may be different, however, here are some clues:
- if you issue invoices or other fiscally relevant documents in electronic format, you need to certify the pdf documents;
- if you send communications by email that you need to prove that they were actually sent / read, you need to certify the sending of your emails;
- if you send communications by registered mail to have this proof and you are looking for a more agile solution, then we recommend email certification;
- if you are looking to streamline contracts with your customers or suppliers, then you can resort to the certification of signing documents and contracts.
We hope to have helped to clarify this topic, which is not always simple. Know that soon we will prepare a webinar on the topic, stay tuned!