Intesi Group: Driving the Technology Behind the Digital Signature Transformation
Image source: Adobe Stock / Gajus.
by Dan Puterbaugh
posted on 07-12-2018
Digital transformation is a topic that is often discussed. But today’s transformation couldn’t take place without the technological underpinnings necessary to make it happen. That is where Intesi Group comes in. Together with Adobe and other Cloud Signature Consortium (CSC) industry leaders, they’re doing the hard work of securing trust in digital processes.
Adobe sat down with Intesi Group CEO Fernando Catullo to better understand how Intesi is changing the future of trusted services and digital identity.
Thanks for sitting down with us today. Can you tell us what is unique about your certificate-based digital ID services?
Intesi Group products are the result of a research project started 20 years ago. A long journey that has always had the objective of creating a simple, well-designed solution that would make the complex architectures underlying the concept of digital identity, electronic signature and encryption accessible to the average user.
Throughout this technological development, Intesi Group has maintained a consistent adherence to Italian and European standards and regulations and its products and services are certified and qualified according to eIDAS Regulations.
Today Intesi Group offers its innovative services both to companies with high volume requirements (millions of certificates/users) and to SMEs that need to protect data and customers from the growing risks that digital transformation is facing.
How is Intesi Group helping customers go all-digital in the cloud?
Intesi Group’s philosophy for digitization is very simple and is based on the adoption of an approach that we like to define as Trust Digital Transformation.
When everything becomes digital, new security requirements must be met and they can be classified into three main areas – trust in the identity of the user and service provider, guaranteed through Strong Authentication; the integrity of the electronically signed agreements, and confidentiality through strong encryption.
How does Intesi Group work with Adobe to authenticate signers and issue certificates?
Creating a digital identity is a necessary first step for the use of a signature certificates (PKI signature). This is currently the biggest challenge that needs to be resolved to allow a widespread adoption of these new security technologies, both for business and personal use.
In many countries, new initiatives are starting to provide digital identity services that can be used as an alternative to face-to-face identification. Intesi Group and Adobe have evaluated different opportunities and have decided to integrate and experiment the most advanced identity provider services. For example, we are already in production with some important Swedish bodies that offer digital signatures to their users using the BankID digital identity platform.
What made you want to be a part of the Cloud Signature Consortium?
Intesi Group together with Adobe immediately believed in the CSC project and joined it to contribute in the creation of a standardised process that fosters the interoperability of systems in the field of digital signature and digital identity in the cloud.
Although the new eIDAS regulation has paved the way for cooperation, we believe that a true interoperability can only be achieved when protocols and communication standards are shared between the different components participating in the identity and signature process.
What do you think is unique about Intesi that you bring to the CSC?
Intesi Group has been a pioneer in the field of remote signatures and began delivering the first remote solutions over 20 years ago. Intesi Group products and services are certified and qualified and represent a solid starting point for the definition and implementation of solutions based on CSC protocol.
In addition, Intesi Group has a long history of actively participating in the work of different technical groups and many parts of the preliminary tech specifications are the result of know-how and technology that, from a proprietary perspective, Intesi Group has been offering its customers since its establishment.
One of the things that has really stood out for me when I talk about CSC is the level of enthusiasm out there. Why do you think this is?
Standardization is a key factor in bringing a market to maturity.
CSC is the first successful experiment that has been able to combine users, tech companies and service providers in the definition of a standard that is already in production and which can significantly contribute to the simplification of integration problems between different systems and services.
I think CSC is exciting because it gives back the freedom to choose the best application and the best service provider without constraints and without integration investments.
How do you see the CSC changing the way people do business?
The world, and Italy in particular, must face the challenge of digital transformation. Companies must open up to the Internet and must learn to communicate in ways that are completely different from those used in the past.
Promoting the standardization of signing protocols means increasing the availability of secure services and reducing the risk that attacks on systems will cause data loss or manipulation.
Security must deal with data, identity and transactions. It’s not enough to look after perimeter security because the perimeters are no longer there.
What do you see, or what would you like to see, as next steps in the area of electronic signatures and digital identity?
At the moment, digital identity management is very complex. I think simplification of this process is key to expand usage. As for electronic signatures, the CSC should try to push past currently available technologies and propose a standard that combines best practices with the needs of the market.
More about Intesi Group
Intesi Group is one of the first cloud signature TSPs to partner with Adobe Sign and a co-founder of the Cloud Signature Consortium. They offer CSC-compliant digital ID and timestamp services that are eIDAS Qualified and meet European Telecommunication Standard Institute (ETSI) standards.
Meet maximum security and compliance with qualified digital IDs
Adobe Sign and Intesi Group work together to ensure your digital signatures are protected by the highest levels of security and compliance. Before your employees, partners or customers can digitally sign a document, they need to prove their identity with a TSP like Intesi. Once verified, each signer is issued a certificate-based digital ID that’s uniquely theirs. When signing a document, they use their own certificate, personal PIN, and one-time passcode to validate their credentials and prove their identity.
Adobe is advancing standards again
With more than 8 billion electronic signatures through Document Cloud in the past year alone, Adobe is the undisputed leader in secure digital documents. We invented PDF, and we drove the first opens standards for digital signatures. Together with industry experts in the Cloud Signature Consortium, we’re setting global standards again for cloud-based digital signatures that work on mobile devices and the web. Adobe is the first global vendor to deliver solutions based on this standard, enabling organizations everywhere to meet demand for anytime, anywhere signing using high-assurance digital IDs.