MORE and more businesses and organisations have begun to fully embrace digital transformation as the world persevered through a pandemic and now an endemic.
And staying ahead of the game is this local company that revolutionised a simple, yet effective paperless solution – digital signatures.
SigningCloud – a subsidiary of Securemetric Bhd, one of South-East Asia’s leading digital security solutions provider – was launched in July 2020 with a clear vision in mind: to aid businesses in their digital processes in a safe and affordable way.
Electronic signatures have been in the market for some time, but it may not always be the most secure option for inkless signatures.
Enter digital signatures. As a facet of electronic signatures, they are far more credible, assuring and reliable, and can easily be implemented into a system for any signature-related day-to-day task.
Digital signatures go one step further by providing enhanced security to the signer(s) of the document, as compared to e-signatures.
Many are doubtful of digital signing with the implied belief that it isn’t a strong signing method. However, the contrary is true.
In addition to being just as enforceable as good ol’ ink signatures, digital signature platforms such as SigningCloud are protected via strong two-factor authentication, whereby signed documents on the platform are tamper-proof. This means that if anyone attempts to alter the signed document, it can easily be detected by running it through any common PDF viewing tool.
Born of a need
This 100% home-grown Malaysian brand was incepted in the middle of the movement control order (MCO) last year and has gone on to amass thousands of account holders and counting.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, SigningCloud has a regional presence in Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Securemetric started out in 2007, aimed solely at digital security solutions and has successfully made a name for itself with global clients across South-East Asia. The idea of SigningCloud was born when its founders saw a need in the market for safe and trustworthy digital signature solutions that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Securemetric and SigningCloud chief executive officer and executive director Edward Law explains the importance of digital signing: “The adoption of digital signing has propelled to great heights over the last decade as more and more businesses began to embrace digitalisation and particularly more so in the last year and a half as the world gradually ascended into an era of work from home as a result of the pandemic.”
With this in mind, SigningCloud strives to play a big part in assisting Malaysian companies – from large MNCs to small start-ups – head towards being fully digitalised.
Law says that switching to digital signatures can be very advantageous to businesses and individuals for numerous reasons.
“Not only are they far more convenient than traditional wet ink signatures, they’re also the more sustainable and eco-friendly option. Thousands of sheets of papers can be saved daily by the simple adoption of e-signing, saving organisations money while helping the environment.”
In terms of governance compliance, SigningCloud maintains a secure electronic record of the signature and activities trails of users.
SigningCloud offers two main e-signing solutions – digital signatures using SigningCloud ID and qualified digital signatures, also known as DSA-compliant document signing (in accordance with Malaysia’s Digital Signature Act 1997).
“The former allows signers to sign documents electronically in conformity with the Electronic Commerce Act (ECA) 2006 while the latter allows signers to sign documents in conformity with the DSA 1997, if the signature is verifiable by a valid digital certificate issued by any licensed certificate authority (CA) in Malaysia,” says Law.
“The DSA-compliant document signing option also allows our signers to choose their preferred CA on the platform – free from vendor lock in.”
To utilise this option on SigningCloud, there is a minimal add-on charge, depending on the subscription package chosen.
For DSA-compliant signatures, signers can rest assured that the digital identities of each signer on the document flow is authenticated to avoid claims of repudiation in the near and far future.
“SigningCloud offers/provides the integration support for our signers, allowing them to integrate SigningCloud into their own apps,” says Law.
Currently, SigningCloud is integrated with Microsoft SharePoint and Alfresco platforms, enabling users to conveniently integrate safe digital signing into their favourite solutions.
In the future, SigningCloud aims to add more CA providers as well as integration partners onboard, making it an all-round universal e-signing platform with the aim of achieving a cross-border digital signature ecosystem.
To make paperless signatures accessible and affordable to all, SigningCloud’s pricing plans start from free, and all its packages offer unlimited e-signing with unlimited signers.
According to Law, SigningCloud simplifies the document workflow of its users by not only providing them with secure digital signature options, but also a convenient manner in which the signatures – along with any other amendments or suggestions made on the document – can be traced cohesively.
“No longer will organisations or individuals need to manually print, send, fax, sign and file documents.
“With SigningCloud, the document workflow is simplified – allowing busy professionals to focus more on their core tasks with less time spent handling paperwork.
“For enterprises that are already using Microsoft SharePoint or Alfresco, they can just simply perform secure digital signing in and within the electronic document management platform without altering their organisation’s workflow. All they need to do is just digitally sign with SigningCloud, anytime, anywhere with a seamless user experience.”
Digital signing solutions can also be used as one of the preventive methods against signature-related online hacking.
Citing past incidents, Law says financial services are probably the main sector impacted by hackers.
“There are many man-in-the-middle attacks being reported in relation to financial services, like when a hacker intercepts the payment instruction and changes the beneficials, similar to the Bangladesh incident.
“Do you remember the Bangladesh Central Bank incident whereby hackers manipulated the payment instruction from the central bank to one of the international payment switch?
“If the payment switch system was integrated with digital signatures with data integrity being enforced, such incidents would not have happened, as alteration to the digitally-signed payment instructions can be detected.”
Another sector at risk is the education sector.
“We may have heard of many high-profile personnel with sceptical academic achievements,” Law says.
“There are many fraudsters who offer duplicated educational scrolls or certs on demand. All the buyer needs to do is inform them which university and what are the details to be printed on it. Within minutes, they can send you a printed copy that can be as identical as the genuine one.”
A properly implemented e-scroll system that utilises digital signatures such as SigningCloud can certainly eliminate the chances of this taking place, or the issue of a digitally-signed scroll or cert being forged.
It assures that digital documents are tamper-proof – in the sense that if anyone attempts to modify or change the signed copy, it can be detected as anyone will be able to verify the authenticity of the document online by scanning the QR code on it.
To learn more about how SigningCloud can help you digitise your organisation, go to www.signingcloud.com and register for a free account to experience an unlimited e-signing experience.