As if it’s about going back to school, don’t be embarrassed to be the first to ask. Professor Víntegris has for you the five answers to the questions about Digital Certificates that you never should miss to ask
1. What is a Digital Certificate?
Digital certificates are computer files that are used to provide a digital identity to a person, organization or electronic device. They are issued by recognized certification authorities (CA) and are based on asymmetric cryptography; therefore, they contain a public key and a private key. The first is available to everyone, while the second is only known by the certificate holder. Thus, the privacy of the information exchanged between two users is guaranteed.
A digital certificate contains a series of data associated with the user it identifies, such as its name, the expiration date of the certificate, a copy of the public key and the digital signature of the CA. With all these elements a digital identity is generated, which will be associated, as previously stated, with a person or a device.
2. What is the purpose of a digital certificate?
The purpose of the digital certificate is to securely accredit your identity before processes and procedures carried out on the Internet. If we have a Digital Certificate, we will be able to sign and carry out procedures online, instead of doing them in person and with what this entails: time used and trips that are made. In addition, it will allow us to establish secure communications with public administrations that develop services over the Internet through the use of digital signatures. In this way, we will be able to carry out a multitude of procedures without having to go to the corresponding administration offices.
The digital certificates also are applied to digital signature (Have a critical importance), thus securing the identity of the signatory and protecting the information contained in the document. In addition, they can carry out authentication operations and encryption (emails, transactions, etc.).
3. What are the benefits of using Digital Certificates?
By using digital, the risk of fraud and identity theft is considerably reduced, threats that can pose a serious risk to the reputation of an organization, with significant economic losses. Repudiation is also avoided. But in addition, they present direct benefits in our business:
Being able to manage all sorts of official processes with the administrations from any time and place, with financial entities, with companies, health centers, etc.
- Greater agility in all administrative procedures.
- Being able to check on official processes 24/7.
- Not needing duplicate documents and not losing documents.
- For the self-employed, paying all your taxes (some are even required to be paid on-line), find out about repayments and delayed payment, view all tax and employment information.
- Been able to check any time the status of their government-related administrative processes, which has been critical element in the current scenario of subsidies, presentation of resources, and claims, processing of public aid to companies, etc.
- A Digital Certificate does not just provide the same certainty and reliability as a physical signature – it is better.
- Had all their information in dedicated up-to-date computer files
- Saved the cost of messengers and printing, which are themselves not very environmentally friendly.
4. Are all Digital Certificates the same?
The answer is no. Although it is true that any type of digital certificate is an official identification with which the identity of a natural person or company on the Internet is shown, in a technical and legal way. We could differentiate at the user level, the types of digital certificates based on two large classifications:
- Depending on the requirements and the legal framework:
- Digital Certificate: It is issued following the requirements of Law 59/2003 on electronic signature and the eIDAS Regulation of the European Parliament.
- Qualified Digital Certificate: This certificate that fulfill an additional conditions. The provider that issues it must identify the applicants and seek reliability in the services it provides. This certificate complies with the requirements of the Electronic Signature Law 59/2003 in its content, in the identity verification processes and in the conditions that the certification service provider must comply.
- It is a certificate that meets a series of additional conditions. The provider that issues it must identify the applicants and seek reliability in the services it provides. This certificate complies with the requirements of the Electronic Signature Law 59/2003 in its content, in the identity verification processes and in the conditions that the certification service provider must fulfill.
Complying with specific legal regulations (eIDAS), qualified digital certificates are the most reliable guarantee to authenticate an identity. When a qualified digital certificate is issued provided by a validated Certificate Authority (CA), it is assigned a public key infrastructure (PKI), binding its own certificate.
Depending on the ownership and purpose there of:
Being a digital certificate or a qualified digital certificate, there are different types of digital certificates depending on the assumption and the ownership of the represented party
- Certificate of a linked individual
- Electronic body seal certificate for public administration
- Certificate of physical person public employee
- Company electronic seal certificate
- Representative individual certificate
- Electronic seal certificate for IoT
5. How are Digital Certificates requested and managed?
The key is in the Certification Authority (CA), through which the issuance and management of digital certificates for organizations is provided. But not all Certification Authority are the same, at present you must make sure that who issues and manages your digital certificates, comply the requirements and security levels made possible by (EU) Regulation No. 910/2014 of the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL, of 23 July 2014, on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market. Must be a trusted provider to be able to have all the currently qualified digital certificates. vinCAsign, vintegris’ Certification Authority (CA), we provide a digital certificate issuing and management service for organizations.
Through vinCAsign, organizations can create their own qualified digital certificates and seals, with the highest degree of security and legal recognition. In our Certification Autohority (CA), allows organizations to establish a Registration Authority (RA), issue, control, manage and revoke digital certificates.
In terms of management, NebulaCERT, is the vintegri’s certificate management solution, also allows you to issue and manage them without having to depend on third parties, which reduces
financial costs. You can do this through the vintegris PKI platform and the VinCAsign Certification Authority (CA), developed in accordance with eIDAS.
Do you have more questions?
If you are interested in knowing more about digital certificates and do not see your question answered in this post, we encourage you to contact us. We will be happy to help you.
Also, ask for our Digital Certicate’s solutions demo to see for yourself how this all-in-one digital identity solution can help your organization. Start enjoying the benefits it brings.