DocuSign provides its customers the technology to sign contracts digitally – and legally. Real revolution or flash in the pan?
This is how the technology can be used
DocuSign is an electronic signature (eSignature). You can use it to sign treaties and other documents in a legally secure manner without having to print out the paper and sending it to the address. All you need is Internet access and an account with DocuSign. If you have signed the document on your device, the recipient gets a link. By clicking on the link he will get to the signed document and can sign it himself.
How safe is the procedure?
The company DocuSign itself pledges that their technology can display a transparent process until the contract is signed. But how safe is the process if it is transparent at the same time? Are there any weak spots that could be exploited?
In order to guarantee the security of the data of the parties involved and, in particular, of the document in question, the company is making some efforts: DocuSign is currently the only company in the eSignature business to have ISO 27001 certification and thus the so-called IT basic protection (IT Grundschutz).
Nevertheless, in May of 2017, the management had to confirm that parts of the database were hacked. Personal data and account information of the customers were not affected by the hack. The intruders managed to get only their email addresses. In this case more than 100 million addresses. Compared to roughly 1.4 billion email addresses that appeared in a spam mail database at about the same time, this does not seem to be a big deal. Apart from the fact that databases are hacked frequently. Therefore, there are good chances that several of these e-mail addresses were already in circulation. As with all digital processes there is the risk of security gaps. Nevertheless, sensitive personal data has not yet been affected by a hacker attack on DocuSign. To continue to do so, not only the process, but also the employees and the platform itself are controlled by the strict DocuSign Security Assurance Program.
What advantages does DocuSign have for companies and freelancers?
Apart from the safety-related efforts, there are other benefits that speak in favor of this electronic signature. For example, the time savings. Instead of printing out the documents and sending them to the recipient, this is done directly and digitally. According to the company, 80% of the documents will be signed and completed within one day. Thus, the process is also a real competitive advantage. Those who are faster than the competition can generate more business.
But also within your own company DocuSign brings some advantages. As the entire process of closing a deal is now digital, the entire workflow becomes much more flexible. So that the people and customers involved can be included in the transaction at any time – and access a document that’s up to date.
Since the process also claims legal validity, users don’t need to fear any disadvantages. Documents and contracts signed with this electronic signature are valid – and not only in Germany or Europe, but in many countries of the world. eSignatures therefore are especially interesting for companies with branches and/or customers abroad. Another reason why we at Westhouse use DocuSign, too. We see it as a way to make our processes leaner and faster – much to the joy of our customers and employees.