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The rise of digital signatures and certificates is due to cyberattacks

The rise of digital signatures and certificates is due to cyberattacks

ArgentinaColombiaDigital TransformationSoftwareTop Stories

Globalsign, a certification authority, registers the highest use of certificates, digital signatures and timestamps as part of its PKI platform. Luiza Dias, CEO of GlobalSign Brazil, explains the impact of this trend.

GlobalSign has announced significant growth in its digital signature business and temporary marks or timestamps.

As businesses worldwide seek refuge from cyberattacks as they adjust to remote work, GlobalSign had the highest issuance of certificates, digital signatures, digital seals and timestamps last year.

It is worth mentioning that GlobalSign, one of the most recognized certification authorities, is the leading provider of trusted identity and digital security solutions that enable small and large companies – as well as cloud service providers and innovative Internet of Things (IoT) companies – to possess secure online communications, manage millions of verified digital identities and automate authentication and encryption.

The company has scalable Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and identity solutions that support the billions of services, devices, people and things that comprise the IoT.

Pandemic and cyberattacks

Through Atlas – its PKI platform – Globalsign issued almost 14 million certificates, 28 million digital signatures and 117 million timestamps last year.

According to the company, this growth was due to Digital Transformation and productivity that had massive changes caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, cyberattacks shoot up, especially ransomware attacks.

With millions of employees continuing to work remotely, businesses worldwide need a way to conduct transactions securely.

These factors are driving GlobalSign digital signature solutions, whose use has increased since the beginning of the pandemic. In 2019, its clients used 10 million digital signatures, almost tripled by the end of 2021.

Mohit Kumar, Associate Director of Product Management, GlobalSign, said: “We have had an excellent year for certificate issuance, digital signatures and above all, timestamps. Given the extent of the pandemic, the rate of cyberattacks, and the Digital Transformation taking place around the world, we anticipate significant activity in the coming years. Atlas has proven to be capable of handling a massive level of activity, something we are very proud of.”

Latin America follows the trend

Luiza Dias, CEO of GlobalSign Brazil

How are Latin American companies behaving in terms of using and adopting digital signatures? The answer is from Luiza Dias, CEO of GlobalSign Brazil:

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the restrictions implemented on social distancing have forced companies to reinvent themselves. It has led to an increase in the use of disruptive technologies, including digital signatures and the search for new ways of working remotely, intending to generate secure commercial and business relationships.

In Latin America, the history of the digital signature dates back to the early 2000s and has grown since then, especially in recent years. According to the research Verified Market Research, the Digital Signature Market in Latin America, the expectation is to reach US$ 8,731.64 million by 2028, compared to a market that in 2020 reached US$ 940.99 million.

GlobalSign has been working with companies in the region for years to help them implement digital signatures. We are now seeing a considerable increase because COVID-19 has changed the way companies do business. Many were unprepared for the cybersecurity challenges of remote work.

In addition, we must define the difference between digital signatures and electronic signatures. Electronic signatures refer to any signature that is applied electronically. But that is really all they are: Just a signature, which is not legally binding.

However, when combining an electronic signature with a trusted digital ID, the result is a digital signature that is legally binding. That is the best way to sign critical paperwork such as contracts and payments without any extra work. Everyone can benefit from replacing slow paper workflows with secure digital signatures, from human resources to finance departments, legal teams and sales.

The countries where the use of digital signatures and electronic signatures are more advanced are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Mexico.

  • Argentina was one of the pioneers in the implementation and regulation of electronic signatures by approving the Digital Signature Law 25,506 in 2001.
  • In Bolivia, the Law 080 of 2007 (Law of Documents, Signatures and Electronic Commerce) recognizes the legal and probative value of contracts or legal acts through electronic means.
  • In Colombia, electronic signatures are regulated by Law 527 of 1999. It is already a mandatory security standard in electronic invoicing.
  • In Peru, the legislation establishes a clear differentiation between the electronic signature and the digital signature, both included in Law 27,269.
  • In Mexico, the Advanced Electronic Signature Law of 2012 regulates the use of the technological tool and the issuance of digital certificates.

However, companies need to know how to transit to digital signatures to speed up their transition and thus improve the reliability and security of their documents. Therefore, Latin American companies have an alternative to validate and perfect the operation of their digital signatures.

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