Digital innovation on the way – prepare for eIDAS

Soon the new EU regulation eIDAS will become enforceable and countries all over Europe have a fairly short time to adapt. For instance, all Swedish governmental e-services must be ready for foreign electronic signatures by September 2018. So while you have some time to adapt, there is no time to waste before starting the process.

eIDAS will offer a joint framework for e-transactions and e-signatures. The goal is to stimulate business to innovate more when it comes to digital services and to enable citizens to use e-services more efficiently.

At the heart of the new framework are electronic signatures. With eIDAS it will get the same legal status as paper based signatures, a big step forward as you can imagine. It will also offer a joint technical standard that will stimulate a more connected and commercially efficient Europe.

At Nexus we have met a lot of companies and organizations around Europe that have been confused when it comes to understanding the previous regulations. There has up until now for instance been a lack of guidance as to which e-signature standard to follow. (Sweden is somewhat of an exception, having had Bank-ID). The previous guidance from EU on these matters have been all but clear. The key existing relevant reference has been a directive from 1999, but it mainly focuses on certificate provisioning and chip based signature creation devices. Not a lot of help there as you can imagine.

So eIDAS comes just in time. Companies need guidance on these matters and eIDAS can clear out a lot of the confusion experienced by organizations and it can stimulate digital innovation, something Europe is in desperate need of.

With eIDAS we get something that has been previously missing. We get an EU regulation that covers the whole trust chain, from creating advanced signatures, time stamp and validation. This will enable European consumers to sign important things from any device, PC or mobile phone. It will provide means for a complete end-to-end digital experience, opening up for lots of innovation when it comes to digital services from both private and public entities.

What also is different with eiDAS, is that it is more powerful than previous legislation. EU member states must put it into their national law. So from July 1st this year, eIDAS will overrule all previous legislation and be the key reference framework.

We now meet a lot of companies and organizations who ask us what they should do in order to prepare for eIDAS. In this blog post we would like to highlight three key things:

  • Take time to really understand the framework
  • Identify which of your processes needs to change in order to reach compliance
  • Think more widely how your organization can innovate with new online services or simplified processes as electronic signatures become even more acceptedSo that was some quick and dirty advice. We at Nexus have been involved for a long time in developing solutions related to eIDAS. Ask us if you want to evaluate how eIDAS will affect your operations and see if we can find more innovative ways for you to do things going forward.

Published 5/7 2016

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