ISO details new electronic signature standard
The International Standards Organisation has finalised details of a new ISO standard that guarantee the long-term authenticity of electronic signatures.
ISO 14533 will also ensure the interoperability of electronic signatures when the documents they authenticate are transferred and processed through different systems.
Klaus-Dieter Naujok, chairman of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 154 which developed the standard, said that the new standards provide a way of “guaranteeing interoperability and consumption of messages regardless of the target platform. The new standards provide for long term protection of these document formats that is not currently available.”
The new standard is in two parts: one covers CMS Advanced Electronic Signatures, which are based on the Cryptographic Message Syntax; the other – ISO 14533-2:2012 – is for XML Advanced Electronic Signatures.
Electronic signatures facilitate the use of electronic contracts and records in commerce and government by ensuring their validity. Up to now, the problem has been that the legal or statutory preservation period required of electronically signed documents may be longer than the practical digital life of the document. ISO 14533 will help solve this by providing a framework for the development of systems and/or services which can guarantee the authenticity of electronic documents for a longer period of time than is currently supported by available technology.
Users who will benefit from the standards include organisations and governments who wish to preserve, or are mandated to preserve, electronic documents for a long period of time. These include organisations who need to store electronic messages (such as EDI and XML based), agreements, contracts, or other documents for a period longer than possible up to now, says ISO.