NW_20010122_en_Network World Fusion- 01/22/01_ “Securing and storing e-documents”

January 22, 2001

In our recent newsletter on electronic signatures, we pointed out
that storing documents electronically could save time and space.
(See"Electronic signatures," Network World Technology Executive
Newsletter, http://www.nwfusion.com/newsletters/techexec/2000/1127techexec1.html)

Several readers responded that security is a concern….I found that the recent legislation recognizing e-documents as legally binding has caused many different
industries to address the challenge of securing important electronic
documents online.

Much of the available information focuses on password protection and
token-based authentication used by financial institutions …

Password protection
E-mail encrypted/password protected service via the Internet.
Enhanced fax and e-mail services. Point-to-point or transactional
messaging. These are all services used primarily by the banking and
securities industries…

Token-based authentication
VASCO (http://www.vasco.com) aims to ensure that the person accessing
your e-document is the intended recipient. The company's technology
provides token-based authentication for digital signatures. It is
used primarily by the financial markets industry.

According to VASCO, its Digipass technology runs on virtually any
platform including hand-held devices, smart cards and desktops. The
system offers two-factor authentication: something you have (a token)
and something you know (a one-time-only password generated by the

Although digital signatures are a way of providing e-documents with
legal, binding signatures, the security issues involved in the
delivery and storage of e-documents must be carefully considered. In
today's complex networking environment, static passwords may not be
secure enough. To maximize the digital signature movement, it is
advisable to incorporate stronger authentication measures.