Six E-Signature Security Requirements for Digital Transactions

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Identification, Authentication and Attribution

First and foremost, organizations need to take steps to identify users prior to e-signing, and they need to tie that authentication to the e-signature and e-signed record. Identification takes place the first time a signer conducts a transaction with an online user. Common approaches to user identification are self-identification (user enters personal information about themselves) and third-party identification (when that information is verified against a third-party verification service such as Equifax).

User authentication is the process of verifying credentials entered by a user. The most common approach and widely accepted standard for user authentication in online transactions is user name and password. Digital certificates, tokens or biometrics are other options for very high-risk processes. The final step is signature attribution; this is the process of proving who actually clicked to apply an e-signature. The two most common approaches for establishing attribution are affidavits and the use of SMS passcodes.

The electronic signature market has been around for more than 20 years, but it has seen significant expansion and adoption in the past decade. Highly regulated industries like financial services, insurance, government and health care have led the charge when it has come to implementing this technology because of its ability to enable digital business while keeping processes secure and compliant. Recently, the industry has experienced increased growth in the mid-market as even more small- to medium-sized businesses have started adding e-signatures to their customer-facing processes.

A December 2015 report from Forrester Research, "E-Signatures – A Few Simple Best Practices Drive Adoption" (access requires subscription), attributes this recent increase in adoption to the fact that as customers become more digital, they increasingly expect the companies they do business with to provide high-quality digital experiences. Replacing manual, paper processes with ones that are automated and electronically signed has enabled organizations of all sizes to significantly reduce cycle times, errors and costs while offering the experience customers expect.

As more businesses transition their customer transactions to the web, security is understandably a top concern. When organizations are looking at various e-signature vendors, it is not enough to simply look for an e-signature that is "ESIGN compliant" or has a certain security certification. Taking a broader view of e-signature security will help companies strengthen their legal and compliance position while ensuring maximum adoption. In this slideshow, Silanis, provider of e-SignLive, takes a closer look at the top electronic signature security requirements for digital transactions.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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