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Secure Virtual Room service adds trust to e-signatures and digital agreements

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Image Credit: Erhui1979 via Getty

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Closing deals and signing agreements in a face-to-face meeting seem almost quaint. Soon, they’ll likely be something of days gone by, replaced by digital agreements and document signing.

Still, with that fully virtual back-and-forth, how will you know in case a document is real and legitimate? That it originated from the individual its likely to? That the signer isn’t a hacker?

The Web3 world ultimately necessitates a far more sophisticated method of digital agreement security.

To handle this, cybersecurity company OneSpan today announced the overall option of its Virtual Room cloud service, a secure environment enabling organizations to provide real-time assistance.

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Security should be woven through the entire transaction process given the patch-quilt nature of todays cloud which is where in fact the e-signature market is falling short because e-signature companies aren’t security companies, said Matthew Moynahan, OneSpan president and CEO.

The virtual data room market is really a young but rapidly expanding one: Likely to reach $3.2 billion by 2026, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5% over 2021.

Similarly, the digital signature market will reach $42 billion by 2030, up $4.4 billion from 2021 a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28%.

OneSpans new product competes with those provided by iDeals, SecureDocs, ShareVault, Ansarada and Citrix ShareFile.

The main attack vector today would be to target people for the intended purpose of stealing their credentials, said Jim Lundy, founder and CEO of Aragon Research.

This makes user authentication vital for transactions, he said. And for documents that require to be highly secure, that process has traditionally been slow and cumbersome. It has prompted what he called a race to digital onboarding, that allows user identities to be digitally verified in minutes versus hours or days. It really is particularly learning to be a hot use case for new account openings.

But electronic documents require higher degrees of identity verification and validation users must pass a number of identity requirements such as for example biometric verification (facial identity, for example) and one-time passwords. Only once an individual is verified are documents presented, said Lundy.

Organizations are increasingly adopting credential management and advanced multifactor authentication that generates tokens. It is a safer and proven solution to prevent phishing attacks of user credentials, he said. Similarly, to help expand speed up the procedure, there’s growing usage of content AI (artificial intelligence) that automatically validates user documents such as for example drivers licenses and images via picture verification.

But additionally to such tools, organizations have to train their IT and C-suite staff, said Lundy. You can find highly sophisticated spear phishing attacks going on which are targeting both IT administrators and executives, he said.

Inadequate authentication and verification tools

In todays anywhere economy, consumers expect convenient, digital experiences, plus they want to build relationships companies through remote channels rather than meeting in-person. The e-signature and digital agreement evolution has bolstered this.

Yet, when e-signature providers emerged, most documents were simple forms, said Moynahan. Now? High-value agreements including contracts, mortgages and loan agreements are increasingly being handled digitally. The forex market has grown because of its convenience and accessibility; security and compliance features fell to the wayside, said Moynahan.

Similarly, video conferencing platforms have become in use, plus they do put in a degree of security.

The thinking was when you can start to see the other person watching them sign, they need to be who they state they’re, said Moynahan.

But off-the-shelf video conferencing tools present serious security risks. We reside in an environment of insecure links, and video conferencing platforms dont always offer authentication and verification capabilities to verify in case a person joining a virtual meeting by way of a web link may be the person they claim to be.

He pointed to so-called Zoom-bombing in the first days of the pandemic with the near-overnight adjustment to remote life. This specifically highlighted how easy it really is for anyone to obtain usage of video conferencing links.

Although Zoom was quick to include password capabilities, these arent always enforced, he said. E-signature providers such as for example DocuSign are collaborating with video conferencing and business communications platforms, but this doesnt always involve identity verification and will not capture all events occurring in the signing process. Also, hosts or signers (or both) can simply override access with handy remote control and accidentally to remain behalf of every other.

Digital transactions, instantly

In comparison, upon entering OneSpans new Virtual Room, users should be identified and authenticated via email, login credentials, SMS, Q&A or knowledge-based authentication and ID verification, explained Moynahan.

Then, legally binding e-signatures are captured instantly, and cobrowsing allows agents and customers to collaborate on documents and simultaneously review them and address questions.

Digital signature encryption really helps to make sure that data and agreements are secure in transit and at rest, said Moynahan. Built-in security controls prevent participants from signing with respect to others. An audit trail also maintains the integrity of signed documents by capturing signing privileges passed between participants, geolocation details, authentication and signing order. Furthermore, virtual sessions are recorded.

The platform may be used by any industry seeking a remote, human-assisted financial agreements process, said Moynahan including retail and corporate and personal banking, financing, wealth management, auto financing and healthcare companies.

For instance, wealth management advisors might help customers pick the best products and complete investment strategy agreements, said Moynahan. Advisors at retail and corporate banks might help customers open new accounts and manage changes to existing accounts. Other scenarios could include plans and claims or financing services.

Finding your way through a Web3 world

In the era of Web3 another iteration of the web high-value transactions are occurring digitally and in massive volumes with an increase of complicated cloud workflows, said Moynahan.

But, a lot of us have grown to be so conditioned to simple click and scribble processes that people arent taking into consideration the security of the workflows or people interacting, specifically for quality value transactions, he said. We simply trust that the SaaS provider does this for all of us when the facts are, its not there over the entire business process.

Our trust and integrity in the web has been broken because of deep fakes, fake news and insecure links. Its very hard to tell what’s real anymore, said Moynahan.

Cybersecurity must transfer to a totally new realm to safeguard such Web3 interactions, he said. Because the threat landscape continues to evolve, attackers will too. They’re poised to make the most; they’ll seek to control the integrity of digital agreements and their underlying artifacts, which are fundamentally the foundation of business and capital markets.

Its happened already, unfortunately, said Moynahan. By the end of your day, this is a business responsibility to revive this trust and integrity.

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