The proof of the authenticity of the commercial and administrative documents which companies generally prefer is the handwritten signature. However, it has many drawbacks. This is why the gradual integration of the electronic signature is becoming imperative for companies.
They must indeed improve the user experience of employees and various stakeholders. Due to this new craze, there is a need for standardization for economic and financial players who use electronic signatures.
A NEW METHOD OF DOCUMENT AUTHENTICATION
The electronic signature is a tool used to authenticate an electronic message , application or document. The purpose of this signature, like any other, is to ensure that the document has not undergone any unwanted changes after it has been affixed. In other words, she keeps the history.
For an electronic signature to emerge, 3 elements are imperative, namely:
- The document, email or application;
- The signature tool;
- The one who signs.
The electronic signature thus makes it possible to give your legal agreement on a document, an email or an application. Several platforms, including NetExplorer, allow this dematerialized signature. The encryption technique of this authentication method is a tamper-proof and unalterable computer process. It makes it possible to secure the transmission or validation of your signed document.
A computerized method of cryptography is associated with a mathematical coding system which therefore provides a person who engages in a transaction with two virtual coding keys. One, secret and personal, is said to be private and the other, accessible to third parties, is said to be public. Their operating principle is as follows: each private key is associated with a public key. Thus, to decode an encrypted message from a private key, you must necessarily have the public key associated with it and vice versa.
THE ADVANTAGES OF ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES
The electronic signature has several advantages. Its various assets are of a security, economic and ecological nature .
For a reinforced level of security
The dematerialization of the signature made it possible to increase the level of security of the documents. Indeed, the electronic signature is made of several components, including a digital imprint of the original document. These components are integrated into the document and allow you to detect any attempted modification thanks to a time-stamped tamper-evident seal. This stamp is used to seal the document by applying a universal date. In addition, a modification history is associated with the documents. It allows you to view all the changes made since the date the documents were signed .
For an ecological and economical company
By opting for an electronic signature, you are choosing a process that combines security and sustainable development. Indeed, less paper will be used for signing contracts, which implies less pollution. In addition, the electronic signature allows you to considerably reduce your expenses related to printing, archiving and routing of documents . Once dematerialized, they also become traceable and the risk of human error is all the more limited.
THE FRAMEWORK FOR DEPLOYING THIS SERVICE
Before deploying the electronic signature within your company, it is your responsibility to first understand the laws and regulatory requirements in this area. Indeed, when your company intervenes in sectors of activity such as health, finance, insurance and others, it is constrained to certain regulatory imperatives. To these are added some specific compliance standards, the function of which is to dictate the use of qualified signatures in specific cases.
THE IMPACT OF THE EUROPEAN EIDAS REGULATION
Applied from July 1, 2016, the eIDAS (electronic IDentification, Authentication and Trust Services) regulation has made it possible to standardize electronic signature practices throughout Europe. It sets a set of rules and criteria to be respected for an electronic signature to having legal recognition.
The three types of electronic signatures
In the countries of the European Union, the eIDAS regulation provides for three different types of electronic signatures. They offer several levels of security, as well as different stages of validation of the identity of the signatory.
The simple electronic signature
It is the most widely used electronic signature, in this case for its speed and fluidity. However, it has less legal value than the other two. The simple electronic signature can only be used for routine acts that have minor legal or financial consequences. This is the case, for example, with membership, lease, or employment contracts.
Advanced electronic signature
It is more secure than a simple electronic signature. This is why the advanced electronic signature requires the use of a digital certificate associated with the signer. This certificate must then be subjected to thorough verification. Thanks to the advanced electronic signature, you can easily prove, as a signer, that a document has not been modified since it was signed. It is more recommended for legal documents (credit, savings, life insurance or property sale agreements) or consequent financial transactions.
Qualified electronic signature
More restrictive than the previous two, the qualified electronic signature presents security criteria comparable to the advanced signature. She moves away from it all the same as regards the procedure because this signature cannot be carried out remotely. You must indeed go to an authority approved by the government to verify and validate your identity. The qualified electronic signature is often useful for the establishment of authentic instruments notaries, bailiffs, transplants, etc.
The legal value of the electronic signature
The electronic signature, like the handwritten one, is specific to its signatory. It is created by means by which the signatory keeps it under his exclusive control. The signature is admitted before the judge as a means of proof. However, if, as a signatory, you do not meet the conditions necessary for the presumption of reliability, you will have to provide proof of this.
ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE: TRUST NET EXPLORER
The digital signature represents a real challenge for companies around the world and particularly in Europe. Indeed, it facilitates the digitization of contracts. Your transactions are accelerating and you are also making significant savings. The electronic signature of any legal person (companies, organization, etc.) in Europe is governed by the eIDAS regulation which also defines the notion of qualified Trust Service Provider