Decoding the Role of Trust Providers in Digital Signatures

Trust Providers in Digital Signatures

Introduction 

When it comes to performing online transactions or handling electronic documents, the same level of scrutiny is required as with their paper equivalents. In order to ensure the legitimacy of both the entity involved and the documentation itself, a trusted digital signature provider needs to be involved in the process. This article will explore the role of trust providers in digital signatures, and discuss some of the ways they help to ensure validity. 

Role of Trust Providers in Digital Signatures

Trust providers play an important role in eSignatures by providing assurance that the signer is who they say they are, and that the document has not been tampered with. They do this by verifying the signer’s identity and checking the document against a set of predefined rules. If everything checks out, they issue a certificate attesting to the validity of the signature. This certificate can then be used by other parties to verify the authenticity of the document. 

Trust providers come in many different shapes and sizes, but all of them perform essentially the same function. Some of the more common ones include Certificate Authorities (CA), Registration Authorities (RA), and Trust Service Providers (TSP). CAs are responsible for issuing digital certificates, while RAs are tasked with verifying the identity of signers. TSPs provide a variety of trust-related services, such as authentication, encryption, and digital signing. 

Sign on the Digital (not Dotted) Line: Enhancing Security, Efficiency with e-Signatures 

Trust providers play a critical role in eSignatures, and their involvement helps to ensure that transactions and documents are conducted in a secure and reliable manner. By verifying the identity of signers and checking documents against predefined rules, trust providers help to ensure the validity of digital signatures. This, in turn, helps to build trust between parties and reduce the risk of fraud. 

What does it mean to have a high level of assurance? 

We’ve talked about how to build digital trust. The provider you choose and the necessary vetting level will be determined by the type of trust scheme you desire from your certificate. 

The stricter the vetting, the higher the level of confidence. This is often referred to as the level of assurance or the level of trust you can put in proving your identity to receive a certificate. 

This is where digital trust begins. Certificates can be provided at various levels of assurance to various entities and organizations. The type of protection necessary to generate and store your keys and certificates is determined by the assurance level or certificate type. This might be a cryptographic smartcard or token, a Hardware Security Module, or even a Remote Qualified signature creation device.

Trust Providers in Digital Signatures

As the term suggests, there are different levels of assurance

    • No cryptographic security 
    • Simple mark in a document, check box, or user drawn 
    • Little security for document alteration 

Advanced – Individual or e-seal signing certificates 

    • Signatures based on private PKI 
    • Software or hardware-based keys 
    • Local and remote signature support 

EU Qualified – Individual or e-seal signing certification 

    • Must be stored in a FIPS 140-2 Level 2 or 3 smartcards of a hardware device (HSM) 
    • Applicants must submit proof of identity that can be verified independently 
    • Face to face or video vetting required 

What is a qualified TSP? 

Under the European Union’s eIDAS regulation, a Qualified Trust Service Provider (QTSP) must comply with additional measures to provide the highest levels of assurance in the form of qualified certificates, qualified electronic signatures, qualified electronic seals, or qualified electronic signature creation devices, as well as other defined trust services. 

Organizations certified as QTSPs are subjected to an independent examination and frequent audits to ensure that they remain compliant with eIDAS’ QTSP standards. To become a QTSP, an organization must meet a number of stringent requirements, including demonstrating their technical and operational capabilities and their ability to provide a high level of assurance to their customers. 

QTSPs offer a valuable service, providing organizations with the peace of mind that their transactions and documents are being handled securely and reliably. By choosing a QTSP, businesses can be sure that they are working with an organization that has the experience and expertise to provide the highest levels of assurance. 

Accelerate Your CX Transformation With Digital Signatures 

What is a EUTL Trust List? 

A Trusted List is a publicly accessible list of Trust Service Providers (TSPs) who have been accredited to provide compliance with a certain security rule. 

The EUTL (European Union Trusted List) is a publicly accessible list of over 200 active and legacy Trust Service Providers (TSPs) who have been specially approved to deliver compliance with the EU’s eIDAS electronic signature standard. 

The EU compels all member states to establish, maintain, and publish a trusted list of trust service providers under Article 22 of the eIDAS legislation. Trusted service providers on the EU Trust List (EUTL) provide qualified trust services in accordance with eIDAS requirements. To ensure that all providers’ qualification statuses are listed, trusted lists are required. 

Trust Providers in Digital Signatures

TSP’s in the United States of America 

The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) eliminates impediments to electronic trade by establishing the legal equivalency of electronic records and signatures with paper writings and manually-signed signatures. 

The EUTL trust list is used to onboard TSPs and give them the capacity to offer trust certificates under UETA, which oversees the use of TSPs in the United States. 

Certinal is a highly secure system that takes digital certificates included in Personal Identity Verification (PIV) credentials recognised by the Federal Identity, Credential, and Access Management (FICAM) programme of the United States General Services Administration. PIV credentials are used by US government entities to get access to federally controlled facilities and information systems at the appropriate level of security. Individuals and  and businesses can get document signing certificates from GlobalSign. 

Your certificate can be applied to an unlimited number of signatures, which do not expire when the certificate does. All certificates come with free, secure timestamping, which is required by some regulations. 

Conclusion 

Trust is essential when it comes to online transactions and electronic documents. To ensure the security and validity of these documents, trust providers play a key role in issuing digital certificates and providing assurance levels. By choosing a QTSP, businesses can be sure that they are working with an organization with the experience and expertise to provide the highest levels of assurance. 

The EUTL is a publicly accessible list of over 200 active and legacy Trust Service Providers (TSPs) who have been specially approved to deliver compliance with the EU’s eIDAS electronic signature standard. Trust service providers on the EU Trust List (EUTL) provide qualified trust services in accordance with eIDAS requirements. To ensure that all providers’ qualification statuses are listed, trusted lists are required. Trust is essential when it comes to online transactions and electronic documents. 

In order to ensure the security and validity of these documents, trust providers play a key role in issuing digital certificates and providing assurance levels. By choosing a QTSP, businesses can be sure that they are working with an organization that has the experience and expertise to provide the highest levels of assurance. 

Certinal offers the highest levels of trust and security with an option to bring your own TSP or just choose from a list of associated TSPs that can service your individual needs. 

As a leading digital signature solution, we are proud to offer our customers assurance that their transactions and documents are being handled securely and reliably. For more information on our Trust Services, request for a demo. 

Recommended Reads

author avatar
Author
Aritra is an experienced marketing professional with over five years of expertise in various industries. He specializes in brand management, campaign design, demand generation, marketing process optimization, and PR. Aritra holds a master’s degree from Bennett University, and he has actively contributed to several student initiatives during his time there.
Table of Contents

Categories

Related Resources

Recommended Resources

Certinal - IDC

Slash your Enterprise eSign & Web Form Costs by 50%!

Certinal's Enterprise-Grade Security & Compliance