Why certify documents?
With the dematerialisation of administrative processes and the increasing complexity of technical and regulatory environments, document management in companies has become a strategic issue for legal and compliance departments. With more and more documents being printed, copied, transmitted and sent every day, ensuring the integrity of each document, especially to protect against errors and fraud, is a real challenge.
This is why document certification is an essential part of document management in a company or public administration.
What does it involve? Why certify documents on the blockchain? What solutions are available to certify a document? Answers in this article!
What is document certification?
The certification of documents is the operation by which an authority authenticates the identity of the issuer and the recipient of the document and the conformity of the copy of the document with the original.
Document certification can be done in different ways. While the ways of doing so differ, most actors who issue a need for certification of their documents go through service providers or use various tools. The ultimate goal is to ensure that a document is not altered/falsified.
Notaries are often responsible for certifying documents, especially when purchasing real estate. Other tools are also available to certify electronic documents, such as electronic signature software, which can be used to guarantee the integrity of documents and to seal the commitment of co-contractors.
What are the benefits of document certification?
Document certification: a bulwark against identity fraud
Document certification has become accessible because it meets several needs:
- Ensuring the integrity of electronic documents
- Authenticate issuers, recipients and other stakeholders of an electronic document
- Enhancing the value of the electronic document
It is clear that certification is preferred by companies to create a relationship of trust.
But it is also to respond to new regulatory constraints. Thus, the eIDAS 2nd version proposal is a real pillar in the securing of electronic transactions between citizens, companies and public authorities, allowing, among other things, the fight against fraud.
Indeed, document and identity fraud has exploded in recent years: between 2017 and 2019, it has grown by 164%, significantly eroding the trust of individuals in businesses and institutions.
Secure protocols have therefore had to be put in place by companies and document certification has become an essential step in protecting the integrity of sensitive documents and safeguarding against fraudulent use of compromised documents.
With document certification, acts of impersonation can thus limit the scope for acts of fraud.
Certifying documents therefore helps to prevent the effects of a cyber attack, to preserve the integrity of all sensitive documents and to meet the increasingly stringent regulatory requirements in a dematerialised world, subject to online malicious acts.
With the development of blockchain technology, electronic document certification has become more secure and flexible.
Certification on the Archipels blockchain: how does it work?
Blockchain technology has many advantages, the most important of which is decentralisation, which makes all transactions embedded in the blockchain unalterable and unfalsifiable without the consensus of the network actors. This allows for immutability, which is the basis of the trust that is sought in a relationship between several actors.
- Each actor in the network holds a copy of the blockchain. Each new transaction is validated by a consensus between the network players. This is the principle of decentralisation.
- Changing a hash on a block cannot be done without the validation of the other members of the network. It is this principle that allows immutability.
Now that we have explained how the blockchain works, let's look at how documents are certified on it.
Let's say we want to certify a KBIS on the blockchain to prove the legal existence of your company. We obtain a PDF version of this document from the issuer of the document, i.e. the clerk of the Commercial Court on which the company in question depends.
We then generate a hash (or digital fingerprint) of this KBIS which we will anchor on the blockchain using our certification API.
This document hash is now on the blockchain and cannot be changed.
To meet the needs of companies for document certification, we offer to certify all your electronic documents on the Archipels platform.
Firstly, the Archipels platform is currently operated by French public trustworthy third parties such as EDF, Engie, La Poste and La Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations. By issuing your documents on a trusted platform, you know that your electronic documents are in good hands.
In addition, the Archipels Certification API can be integrated with any technical environment. You can have your documents certified from an entry point of your choice or you can send us directly the batches of electronic documents you want to have certified. On the Archipels platform, nearly 20 million documents with probative value are certified each month.
Reducing the risk of fraud, reducing costs and complying with regulations are all benefits you can enjoy by certifying your documents on the Archipels platform.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.