Sergio Ruiz, Signaturit: “As the line between work and personal life has become more blurred, cyber risk has crept in”
Lack of security tools and solutions available to remote workers is just one of the factors that can put company data at risk.
There’s no denying that the pandemic forced many aspects of our daily lives to become digitized, with more apps and security tools available on the market than ever before. Nevertheless, some digital areas are still stuck in the past, with many still opting for pen and paper when signing documents.
At the same time, various organizations are switching to digital signatures, thus enabling people to sign and access sensitive documents from anywhere in the world.
However, not all digital signature solutions on the market offer the same level of security and legal protection, according to Sergio Ruiz, Chief Executive Officer at Signaturit – a company on a mission to make signing documents secure, legally valid, and as easy as possible.
What has your journey been like since your launch in 2013? How did Signaturit evolve from an idea to a business?
Signaturit was born out of a need. We noticed that there was a problem that no one was solving and, instead of waiting for others to do it, we set out to make it possible for everyone to sign any type of document from anywhere and on any device, and with the maximum legal guarantees.
In filling a need, it was not difficult for the business to grow. In the beginning, our work involved educating people about this technology, but over the years and with the rise of digitalization, it has become an indispensable reality in the day-to-day life of many companies.
In 2019, the company closed its first Series A round worth €7 million, which was attended by French private equity firm 360 Capital, Bonsai Partners, Banco Sabadell, Faraday Venture Partners, Nero Ventures, and Bbooster Ventures.
Also, in October 2020, Signaturit attracted the attention of US fund Providence through its subsidiary Strategic Growth (PSG), through which it has recently joined forces with technology companies Ivnosys and Universign with the intention of building a European e-signature giant.
In the course of its 9-year history, it has raised more than 10 million euros in funding, has opened offices in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, and Valencia, has exceeded 245.000 clients and has a presence in more than 40 countries.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? What fields are your products mostly used in?
Signaturit is a Spanish legal tech company that, together with its partners Ivnosys and Universign, offers solutions that facilitate any digital signature or communication process, with full legal and security guarantees.
The three companies have created one of the most extensive catalogs for the management of digital transactions and trust services in Europe and currently offer cloud-based solutions in the fields of e-Signature, Certified Delivery, e-Identification, issuance, and management of digital certificates and solutions for the management of government notifications.
These cloud solutions allow companies of any size – from large corporations to SMEs or self-employed – or sector (banking, insurance, real estate, education, etc.) and department (HR, commercial, legal, etc.) to reduce costs, automate their paperless contractual processes, and provide their teams with tools to help them optimize their administrative tasks.
What are the main security challenges surrounding document signing?
The security of electronic signatures is posed on two levels: a technical one, with different types of mechanisms, such as cryptography applied to documents, and a legal one, where public authorities offer guarantees to citizens with solid regulations on electronic transactions.
In this respect, it is very important for companies to choose a qualified digital signature provider that complies with EU legal standards and the applicable requirements set out in the eIDAS Regulation. Additionally, they should verify that the digital signature is supported by a digital certificate where this is required.
The work and effort of the European Union in regulating this sector of electronic communications deserves special attention, which has had a positive impact on the spread of the use of electronic services such as those offered by Signaturit.
Have you noticed any new vulnerabilities or gaps in your field during the pandemic?
It is clear that the pandemic has forced many companies to modify their work protocols and processes to adapt to this new social reality, where employees have to work from home, unable to meet with customers or suppliers.
Thanks to our solutions, our customers have been able to maintain their activity and streamline their processes when many companies were paralyzed.
The vulnerability lies in having tools and software that allow them to operate with the same technical and legal security but from home. And this can only be achieved by relying on providers that allow them to work with peace of mind and security, such as ours. In this context, I believe that it has benefited us because it has allowed us to help all the companies that, due to the pandemic, felt they had lost the ability to continue operating normally.
In your opinion, which industries should be particularly concerned about digitizing their operations?
The digitization of operations both vertically, throughout the organization, and horizontally, between the company, suppliers, customers, and partners, is essential for any industry.
The pandemic has taught us that all companies must not only digitize but undertake a true digital transformation that will give them a real and long-term competitive advantage.
Even though the use of digital signatures is basically commonplace, there are still some myths around it. What misconceptions do you notice most often?
Not all digital signatures are the same, nor do they offer the same legal and technical security features. This is something that is not clear to everyone.
In addition, it is essential to have a company that is recognized as a qualified provider of electronic trust services in accordance with the requirements of the European eIDAS Regulation. Only regulated companies can provide companies with good advice on which digital solution is ideal for them, depending on their use.
As remote work becomes the new reality, what are some of the worst habits when it comes to handling sensitive documents?
Many professionals have spent much of the last two years blurring the line between work and personal life. As the line has become more blurred, cyber risk has crept in.
The use of unprotected personal devices for work is a risk to the control of confidential employee or client documents. That is why it is essential to make an extra effort to keep business and private life separate.
Talking about the future, what security tools do you think will be trending in the next few years?
The great challenge for companies is to implement tools that protect their electronic communications, both with the public administration and with their customers and staff, and allow them to work with peace of mind and stop making mistakes that lead to inadequate practices from a security point of view.
The objective of any company is to use its digital certificates securely, control notifications with the Public Administration, sign contracts in an agile but legal manner, etc.
Over the years, more and more providers will commit to the security of any transaction of this type.
Share with us, what’s next for Signaturit?
In 2022, we will continue to focus on growth to keep doubling the business every year and help our customers meet the challenges they face.
With the arrival of Ivnosys and Universign, we will concentrate our efforts on three main points: product portfolio diversification, geographic expansion within the EU, and inorganic growth.