Digital Signature Capability Model for assessments

I described, in a previous post, why Digital Signatures are important to ensure processes are completely digital. Together with Ramfis Adrichem from 1017 Consultants, the Digital Signature Capability Model was developed. We developed this model as a tool to communicate what capabilities are required for an effective Digital Signatures product or service.

Digital Signature Capability Model

The model contains the following dimensions:

  • Channels: How will a user provide his / her digital signature?
  • Content: What kind of content can be signed?
  • Functionality: What are the core functions that are needed to support the process of the end users?
  • Administration: What administrative functions are needed to setup and maintain a digital signature product or service?
  • Infrastructure: What are the support infrastructure capabilities that are required?

I will not describe all different capabilities within this model but highlight a few by using the classical use case: “signing a contract with a customer“. This contract consists of a document with the legal text, the agreed terms & conditions, a technical specification for the product to be delivered and a technical drawing. The figure below highlight the focus for this example.

Signature Process

This means there are Multiple Signatories from each organisation with their respective Digital Identity (requiring IdP Integration). Each signatory needs to sign the complete Set of Documents. In case you need to go to court at some point, you need to use Qualified Certificates to assure non-repudiation. Although it is technically sufficient to attach the digital certificate to the documents it is common to have Visual Signatures placed into the document so a reader can see immediately who signed. The product or service used needs to be able to sign different file types, Office Documents f.i. MS Word and PDF. To comply with long term preservation requirements of the records manager of your organisation the solution needs the ability for Document Transformation, f.i. to generate PDF/A, and a Connector for your Records Management system.

The Digital Signature Capability Model contains all of the common capabilities in a Digital Signature product or service. However for you specific situation not all may be necessary.

The Digital Signature Capability Model is a means to facilitate communication, a checklist and requirements tool.