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The double guarantee of the electronic signature

The double guarantee of the electronic signature

Signatures on paper or digitally? John Lageman, director of ValidSign, is convinced that the expiration date of the physical signature has expired. It is inefficient at a time when all information is digitally processed and stored. More than 1200 organizations use its ValidSign platform to sign electronically. Safe and trustworthy.

Many organizations digitize their processes, but forget to take the last step, is the experience of John Lageman of ValidSign. “They draw up their contracts digitally, whereby the intermediate steps are often controlled automatically. But where the entire process has been digitized, it often gets stuck at the last step.” The document is printed, signed, scanned and then emailed to the supplier or customer. “The process is far too cumbersome and you turn a digital original into a paper document.”

Besides being impractical, the process of printing the PDF and scanning it after signing is not secure. “A PDF is easy to edit, leaving the original signature of the sender underneath. Without you realizing it, you get another document back, with two signatures, in which the integrity of the agreement has been compromised on a number of crucial parts. ” He warns: “The adjustments will only become apparent if a conflict arises and you fall back on the signed contract.” The message Lageman gives: “Make sure that the digital contract remains digital and is signed electronically.”

Additional insurance

ValidSign is specialized in the complete management of the signing process. Electronic signing takes place with certificate technology, where the sender/contractor adds the various internal and external signers to the contract. You can do this visible or invisible, with certificate technology. “It doesn’t matter whether one or twenty signatures are needed. The sender, the contract drafter, determines who can sign.” Checking the identity is an important additional assurance that the signatory is also the person you assume. He continues: “If you also make sure that the agreement complies with the open standards, you can archive the document digitally and open it in ten or fifty years.”

Identification, authentication and authorization are often used interchangeably, explains John Lageman. “When you identify yourself, it’s about who you are. Authentication is about checking whether you are really who you say you are. And then you can perform an authorization check. In doing so, you look at the authority from your role or position to act. What we use are the authentication methods to verify that the person on the other end is who he or she claims to be.” When signing, ValidSign assumes that identification has already taken place. “We check whether that is actually true, by means of authentication.”

ValidSign uses various secure means of identification, of which SMS, DigiD, eHerkenning and iDin are the most important. “We include that as part of the transaction.” For certain professional groups, authentication and control are extra important. For example, in the annual accounts and auditor’s report. “Those documents have to refer to eachother. We provide an electronic signature that we are sure has been signed by an accountant. We do this by using a so called professional certificate.”

Facilitate

ValidSign is a provider that ensures that the consensus between two or more parties is recorded. “We ensure that the document is honest and that the identity of the signatories is established. We facilitate transactions.” He mentions the Ymere housing association as an example, where the signing of leases is done with ValidSign. The landlord and tenant can easily sign and the contract is digitally signed and archived.

Electronic Passport

In a previous position, Lageman was involved in the modernization of the municipal database, the idea being that municipalities can convert the personal data with one click when moving house. “In fact, you don’t even have to, you have an administration for everyone.” It inspires him to dream of an electronic passport with which you can identify yourself and share personal data, so that you no longer have to create a profile at webshops and other organizations. “I actually do not want organizations to store my personal data. I would much rather give them the opportunity to use some of my personal data, such as the address details, without them being saved.”

Digital signing offers a double guarantee: you establish the identity of the signer and ensure the document integrity.

Ownership

Lageman monitors the integrity of Validsign’s role as process monitor. He is an outspoken opponent of commercial parties also wanting to play a role as ‘trust partner’. “ValidSign is there to facilitate the transaction. Not for commercializing the data. Contracts that are completed will be removed from our environment after 90 days. “I don’t want anything to do with the content of the transaction. Ownership of this belongs to the customer himself.”

“We are there at the time of the transaction process. We facilitate with everything there is to complete the transaction properly and then we let it go. We provide an unambiguous way of signing or sealing information. We want to play a leading role in that. ValidSign is there at the time of the signing process, during the establishment and completion of the transaction, and no more after that. We place the burden of proof on the owner of the transaction.”

5 reasons to sign digitally with ValidSign from AuditCase

5 reasons to sign digitally with ValidSign from AuditCase

AuditCase is a CRM system and document management system (DMS) of CaseWare. This software allows the accountant to carry out most of his work in a streamlined way. The combination of a CRM system and DMS system is quite unique because you create a document from your CRM system and it is automatically archived in your DMS after signing.

The link between AuditCase and ValidSign ensures that the final step in the process of an accounting firm is completed digitally as well. There are no more printers and paper involved. The entire process is digital. Do you use AuditCase or is it scheduled to become a customer but do you still sign on paper? Continue reading. We’ll tell you what the advantages are of the connection with the digital signature of ValidSign.

1. The digital signature ensures a fully streamlined process

To digitize the entire process of an accounting firm, only one thing was needed. A link between AuditCase and ValidSign’s digital signature. Since January 2019, this link can be used by AuditCase customers. This seamless link allows the entire process of an accounting firm, from the creation of a document to the internal approval process, the status information and archiving to be handled in one go. Richard Schiphorst, Managing Director at CaseWare Netherlands: “ValidSign’s digital signature was the missing link in our workflow optimization”.

The document is created in AuditCase. The location of the signatures is determined at that time or is determined in advance by a template. Whether it is the contract confirmation, minutes or declaration of agreement, all documents can be presented directly to the customer by the auditor for signature. The customer receives a sign request by mail, following which he digitally signed the document. Should the accountant also put his signature on the document? That’s possible! The accountant can make his digital signature in the same way as the customer. When the signature is completed, the signed version of the document is automatically placed in the correct place in the AuditCase DMS.

2. Your signed documents will be extra protected

ValidSign’s digital signature is fully legal and has the same value as an ink signature.

During a digital signing, multiple digital data is collected. Both the name and address of the signer, as well as the time and date of signing are recorded. When all the necessary signatures are made, the document is sealed and the digital variant remains unchanged. Depending on the auditor’s wishes and the burden of proof of the documents to be signed, additional verification methods such as a TAN code via SMS or bank authentication with iDIN can be added.

A paper document, on the other hand, often stays with one signatory for too long or gets lost. There is a chance that the document will be seen by someone for whom it is not intended. With digital signing, you don’t have these problems anymore.

3. Documents are signed independent of time and device

Wherever you are, ValidSign’s digital signature solution allows you to digitally sign documents including your order confirmation, meeting minutes and deposit at any time of the day from any location. If you use AuditCase on your desktop, you may be sending and signing your documents from there. Is a customer not at home to sign the received documents? No problem! The customer easily signs all documents from his mobile phone or iPad. This way, the signing process is accelerated up to 80 percent.

4. Volledige compliancy

In addition to ensuring the safety of your documents, the link also ensures that your file is fully in order. You no longer have to think about whether or not a contract confirmation has come back. This can be seen at a glance in the dashboard. In addition, with the communication with ValidSign, you are also sure that the organization will perform all contacts in AuditCase, as this is necessary to send documents via ValidSign. This way you also make sure that your CRM is filled and kept up to date.

4. The link is easy to request

The link between AuditCase and ValidSign is easy to request. An AuditCase customer with an ongoing maintenance contract could start using it on the same day. AuditCase customers who are not covered by this customer group are advised to enter into an entry-level agreement with ValidSign or the integration partner of the two parties, Full Finance Consultants.

Do you want more information about the integration between ValidSign and AuditCase or do you have other questions? Feel free to contact support@validsign.nl.

 

How does your organization remain reliable for external parties during a new wave of ransomeware attacks?

How does your organization remain reliable for external parties during a new wave of ransomeware attacks?

You may have heard about it, but we would like to remind you again of a possible new wave of ransomware attacks. Since last week, there have been several reports by organizations that have received phishing emails with malicious software. Cyber criminals block or encrypt your files using this so-called hostage software to extract ransoms. Very regularly, emails are sent in the name of a well-known organization, so that sometimes you open the mail and fall into the trap even without looking.

There are multiple actions you can take to prevent a ransomware attack. By investing in good antivirus programs and updating software updates directly, you are already 1-0 ahead. But don’t forget to use your common sense and check the sender’s address with each incoming email and see if it really comes from the organization they say they are.

Now that you know how to prevent such an attack, we’d like to tell you what you can do to be transparent and trustworthy to third parties, at a time when ransomeware attacks are the talk of the day:

Communicate to third parties what email addresses and means of communication are used by the organization

Assuming you have the right addresses of customers and partners, it is important to communicate through which business email addresses are communicated. In this way, each third party can check whether an email from your organization name has actually been sent by your organization, and therefore it is not a phishing email.

To be even more transparent towards customers and partners, you could share a list of unused means of communication. Banks do it regularly. Consider, for example, the numerous reminders you receive each month about the fact that your bank would never call via email or WhatsApp message to make a password change or transfer money. You can create a similar message for your externals.

Digital signing

By signing digitally you can be sure that the right documents will be signed quickly and securely. Documents are signed legally from a highly reliable digital signing platform as ValidSign. The documents are digitally sealed and are immutable after signing.

Now I hear you think, but what if cybercriminals mount a ransomeware attack with an email address that is almost identical to the sender address of validsign in this case? This has indeed happened recently with another organization within the field of digital signing, but ValidSign has found something on this! ValidSign’s digital signature offers the possibility to set up your own sender’s address. This Sender Mail Module sends all sign requests from your organization regardless of whether the sender has their own ValidSign account or not. The sender mail is fully arranged based on the branding of your organization so that each sign request is reliable and recognizable to the relevant signer. Sounds safe, right?

Now I hear you think, but what if cybercriminals mount a ransomeware attack with an email address that is almost identical to the sender address of validsign in this case? This has indeed happened recently with another organization within the field of digital signing, but ValidSign has found something on this! ValidSign’s digital signature offers the possibility to set up your own sender’s address. This sender mail configuration sends all sign requests from your organization regardless of whether the sender has their own ValidSign account or not. The sender mail is fully arranged based on the branding of your organization so that each sign request is reliable and recognizable to the relevant signer. Sounds safe, right?

The three servers that support sending the sender mail are: DKIM, SMTP and Mailrelay. Before you can use this module, a validation will take place in the domain of your organization in which ValidSign is authorized to send the sender mail from the organization. By including these addresses in the list discussed in point 1, you will save two birds with one stone.

Do you want more information about the Sender email module or do you have other questions? Feel free to contact support@validsign.nl.

Sustainable care at Radboud University Medical Center

Sustainable care at Radboud University Medical Center

As the world increasingly turns to digital solutions to streamline operations and reduce costs, one of the most important aspects to consider is sustainability.

This article will discuss how one of the Netherlands biggest University Hospitals, RadboudUMC has implemented the e-signature into their document flow, how they have benefited from ValidSign’s sustainable e-signature solution and how it can help you improve your care operations!

As a part of the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centres, Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen educates yearly more than 3,000 students in medicine, nursing and biomedical sciences. Additionally, RadboudUMC has 1065 beds and more than 10,000 employees.

As a result of the corona crisis, the number of beds and staff have increased and in order to keep up with the need and demand from patients, the organization took the step to digitalize its processes and the University Medical Centre is now working more digitally than ever before!

Shortened turnaround time on contracts

After conducting a market research, RadboudUMC put out a tender to be able to choose the right e-signing platform, and the main reason for wanting to incorporate an e-signature in the organization was to shorten the turnaround time of (labor) contracts. ValidSign won this tender in January 2020 and started the roll-out process shortly after.

The signing process previously looked like follows: the contract was printed and placed on the desk of the internal signer for a signature. After signing, the document was sent by post to the external signer and then received back by post after signing. This entire process was long and very time-consuming!

Marty van Asperen, project leader at RadboudUMC: “The purchasing department signs more than 250 documents per month, and it could take several weeks for the signing process to be completed. The issue has been that when an account manager closes a deal, he or she can’t complete the process immediately, as they first need to wait for a manager’s signature before signing themselves. ValidSign allows you to select multiple signers and set a sign order so that the required signatures can be collected in a few mouse clicks.”

Great support and implementation partner

RadboudUMCplan is to ultimately implement the ValidSign’s solution organization wide. They were therefor in need of a company that prioritizes customer service and communication. “We were not only looking for an e-signing platform but also for a partner, and we found it in ValidSign. ValidSign has been incredibly involved in our roll-out process and have supported us with tailor-made consultancy and implementation,” says van Asperen.

The organization has allocated more than 6 months for the roll-out process, so that the digital signature could gradually be incorporated within the organization. The first step was to digitalize the entire hiring process and now, more than 1000 employees receive their employment contract to be signed through the ValidSign platform. This process has worked as a test for the external signers as well as for the signers within the organization. All parties are enthusiastic about the new user-friendly solution that allowed them to use it immediately after the delivery.

E-signing and the future

The organization is still in its early stages when it comes to digital signing.

Van Asperen: “At the moment, the HR department signs more than 150 contracts/documents per month digitally and the rest of the organization more than 350. This will only increase as the e-signature solution creates a well-known snowball effect where, based on the high success rate, more departments wants to start using it. Especially now that working from home has become the new normal!“

Want to know more about how ValidSign’s e-signing solution can be implemented in your organization’s workflow?

Contact our sales department on: sales@validsign.eu/ +31(0)85303 3676 or request a Free Demo HERE!