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What is eIDAS and how can it benefit your company?

Digital transformation has brought with it a number of tools and technologies that can bring great benefits to companies. eIDAS is a regulatory framework to make electronic interactions faster, safer and more efficient. We tell you exactly what its functions are and what advantages it can offer your company.

Digitalization has made the internationalization of companies a much simpler and less costly process than before. Now, any company with a minimum investment can reach customers all over the world thanks to the advance of telecommunications.

The interaction between many of the business processes of different companies tends to be completely digital. This has also led to the creation of a series of services and tools that make the entire infrastructure work efficiently, but it requires a legal framework to regulate it, provide legal consistency and generate trust, two essential aspects in digital business. From this need eIDAS was born.

eIDAS stands for Electronic Identification (eID), Authentication and Trust Services (AS). The eIDAS regulation, which came into force on September 17, 2014, with full implementation as of July 1, 2016, aims to establish an operational framework to make electronic interactions between businesses, citizens and the Administration more secure, fast and efficient, within all the territories of the European Union.

The electronic identification solutions and trust services regulated by eIDAS are as follows:

  • Electronic identification (eID)
  • Electronic signature (eSignature)
  • Electronic seal (eSeal)
  • Time stamp (eTimestamp)
  • Qualified Web Services Authentication Certificates (QWACs)
  • Certified electronic delivery service (eDelivery)

The importance of identification (eID)

Electronic identification allows both companies and individuals to prove electronically that they are who they say they are in the virtual world, to access certain digital services or to carry out online transactions. This can be used in both B2B and B2C relationships, especially those that require greater security due to the high value of the sale.

Therefore, eID allows companies to access new markets by identifying and authenticating existing or potential customers anywhere in the EU. In addition, this process saves enormous time and money, which can be invested elsewhere.

It should be noted that not all countries recognize the identification system of another country, so it is advisable to check the notification status to make sure. All the information in this regard can be found on the FTC website, with the corresponding contact of the competent body in each State.

If so, a person in Spain can buy an alcoholic beverage, or any other age-restricted product, from an online retailer in Germany only by identifying himself with his electronic ID. Otherwise, this transaction would be so complicated that it would not even be worth doing.

Centralized signature, one of the essential keys to eIDAS

The regulation of electronic signatures is another of the regulatory pillars of eIDAS. It should be noted that this type of signature has the same validity as the traditional handwritten one thanks to the EU 910/2014 regulation that has been fully implemented since 2016 in all European Union states. This establishes a series of guidelines that are then implemented through a law in each of the countries, in the case of Spain, Law 59/2003, partially repealed by the implementation of eIDAS.

The advanced electronic signature goes further and needs to have been created by means that the signer has exclusive possession of, identify the signer, detect subsequent changes made to the signature and be linked to the person signing.

Although it may seem a complicated process, it is not and it can be easily carried out thanks to applications such as Viafirma solutions. Its use is really simple and intuitive, so you don’t need to be an expert to have the best protection behind your digital signature.

At the end of the signature process, what the user obtains is a single document in pdf format in which all the necessary information is included, such as biometric data (stroke speed, pressure…), geolocation, time stamping… Thus, in case you need to prove the authenticity of the signature, everything you need is in one place. All this information is stored securely, encrypted and encrypted so that no one can use the signed document fraudulently.

eIDAS also contains an important novelty: the regulation of remote signature, also called centralized signature or, commonly, signature in the cloud. In this case, the user is freed from the custody of his own certificate, with all the advantages that this entails, shifting the custody responsibility to cloud environments much more secure than his own PC or mobile device. Viafirma, with its solution Viafirma Fortress, bets on this technology that will radically transform the trust and digital identity services, in which elements such as robust authentication or HSM servers come into play, which give the signature in the cloud an extraordinary degree of security, within the most absolute legal trust.

As can be seen, many eIDAS services can be used in a complementary way. For example, if a company wants to make a purchase taking advantage of an offer that its supplier has and that ends that same day, thanks to the electronic signature and the time stamp, it can place the order before the end of the offer and certify that it has been so.

The use of electronic signatures in the business context entails a series of benefits that make it practically indispensable. The high level of competition in many markets forces companies to adopt innovative technologies if they do not want their competitiveness to be affected with respect to the rest.

What the electronic signature achieves in this respect is a significant reduction in costs, because it simplifies and even eliminates many processes that were previously mandatory. There is no need to travel to the offices of another company and lose several hours due to travel and traffic. That travel time is reinvested in more necessary tasks.

It is not only a saving in time, but also in the massive use of paper, one of the biggest concerns in offices today. The abuse of paper has many disadvantages, such as organizational problems, it takes up too much space, it is more difficult to find what you are looking for, etc.

The adoption of tools such as digital signatures is part of the digital transformation process, which many companies have already gone through and seen the benefits first hand. This goes beyond starting to use one or another technology, but rather modifying the way of working and organization and the culture of each company to integrate these tools in an organic and fluid way within the work system so that everyone benefits.

Transactions between companies from different countries are the order of the day. That is why eIDAS is a regulation as beneficial as it is necessary for the current way of understanding business. It offers many benefits so that any company can save costs and develop its processes in a safer and faster way. In short, it makes them work more efficiently.

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