SigningHub

Features

SigningHub is a powerful solution for the business need to digitally sign documents by multiple people as part of an approval system.

It has built-in capabilities for user management, advanced PKI digital signature creation and verification, approval workflows with user notifications, document tracking and configurable service plans for managed service use, with multiple billing options. It is a zero footprint server-side solution so that end-users only need a standard Internet browser to make use of the service. SigningHub is available as a product for in-house deployment or as a cloud-based service (see SigningHub.com for further details on our cloud service).

The following highlights just some of its main features.

Multiple signing modes

  • Server-side signing
    This simplifies the roll-out of PKI digital signatures by keeping each user’s private signing key securely on the SigningHub server rather than deploying to the end-user. Users are authenticated before using their signing key and all signing actions are logged in detail.
  • Local signing
    This is signing with a key held locally by the user, e.g. on smartcard, USB token or software file. This mode is compliant with EU qualified signatures when using a qualified certificate issued on a Secure Signature Creation Device (SSCD) by a trusted qualified CA.
  • Mobile signing
    To prevent potential malware attacks with this option documents are signed by sending the signatures requests to your mobile device. The signing keys are stored either in a mobile software app or micro-SD card or SIM.

Digital signature features

  • Server-side signing
    Your signatures are verifiable many years into the future because we use standard long-term signature formats such as PAdES Part 2 and Part 4 (for PDF documents), together with the long-term document format: PDF/A (ISO 19005). SigningHub also supports XML long-term signatures (XAdES-X-L) when using Office documents.
  • Adobe® CDS signatures
    These provide automatic signature recognition in Adobe Reader for a greater level of trust and end-user convenience. In this case, user certificates are issued under the Adobe Root PKI system and can be held either on Adobe CDS tokens (local signing) or centrally on HSMs (server-side signing).
  • Biometric hand signatures
    The signer’s hand-signature is incorporated within their secure digital signature appearance allowing easier human recognition and adoption. The hand-signature image can be created by: drawing on iPad and similar tablets, uploading a scanned image, using a text font signature, drawing on specialist signature hardware tablets or using the information from within the user's digital certificate or smartcard.
  • Signature verification
    Signatures are verified automatically upon document opening using centrally held PKI trust points, without users having to manage important trust decisions. Each signature is verified fully including revocation checking and secure timestamp validation. Verification results are presented in a simple and clear manner.
  • Multiple PKIs
    One instance of SigningHub can manage multiple PKI trust points. In fact each SigningHub service plan can have its own PKI trust points. Pre-existing PKIs can be utilised within SigningHub or a new PKI can be set-up by using the bundled ADSS Server PKI components (RA, CA, OCSP and TSA).

Workflow features

  • Multiple signers per document
    Set-up advanced approval processes with multiple signers per document; same signer can be added to the workflow multiple times.
  • Auto-reminders
    Send configurable reminders to users when a document has not been signed according to the defined date/time.
  • Serial workflows
    This is where each user signs the document in the sequence defined by the owner.
  • Parallel workflows
    This is where the document is sent to all the identified users at the same time, and each user signs their own separate copy of the document.
  • Group signing
    Set-up a group of users (e.g. Sales department) where any user from the group can sign a document.
  • Delegated signing
    Allows you to define a user who will sign on your behalf whilst you are away for a configurable period.
  • Re-assign signers
    If someone cannot sign for some reason, no need to start from scratch just re-assign the relevant signers.
  • Document tracking
    Allows you to keep a close eye on status of your workflow, e.g. who has reviewed, who has signed…where the hold-up is!
  • Customised emails
    Tailor/brand your emails as required for all the different types of notifications.
  • Signature decline option
    Allows a signer to decline signing, plus provide feedback on why they did not proceed.
  • Document recall
    Allows document owners to recall an already shared document.
  • Configurable post-processing
    Ability to send the completed documents to one or more email recipients or post to web service.
  • Unlimited contacts
    Work with as many contacts as you want; add new contacts individually or import your complete Outlook® contact list. Active Directory integration can also be made available.

Form-filling

  • Form filling
    Send PDF forms to your users to fill-in and sign, then route these to approvers to review and sign-off.
  • Field assignment
    Assign form fields to specific users, such that the form field must be filled in before signing action is allowed.
  • Navigation guide
    Tooltips dynamically guide users through the document highlighting the form fields they need to complete before signing.
  • User initials
    Force the user to insert their initials on every page or against important paragraphs before being allowed to digitally sign the document.

Ease of use

  • Intuitive
    SigningHub is designed for ease of use. You will be amazed and how easily users can view and signoff on documents right away without reading any complex manuals.
  • Document presentation
    The document is presented to the user in an optimised server-side viewer which is pure HTML. This means not only efficient document viewing but also that documents can be viewed with a standard browser, even on mobile devices.
  • Clickable signature fields
    Users can sign signature fields by simply clicking on them.
  • Tooltip navigation guide
    For new users a tooltip feature can guide the user through the process of preparing, reviewing and signing documents.
  • Templates
    Save important workflow settings in templates such as who the signers are, where they must sign the document, which form fields they must fill in, what are their access rights on the document, etc. Then apply these templates to documents for immediate and automatic preparation of documents for sign-off.
  • Library feature
    This ensures that important forms and documents are pre-loaded on SigningHub for immediate use by end-users.
  • Document sorting & searching
    Sort documents into pending, in-progress and completed categories. Also the search filter ensures the required document is never too far away.
  • Certificate filtering
    When performing local signing, the enterprise administrator can configure certificate filters to prevent the user from choosing the wrong digital certificate.

Managed service use

  • Configurable service plans
    Administrators can set-up multiple service plans with their own user, storage and signature count quotas. Each service plan can have its own signing, certification and verification profiles, e.g. with their own PKI trust anchors.
  • Multi-tenanted
    Multiple enterprises can utilise the same SigningHub instance. Each enterprise tenant is managed in separate area, with its own Enterprise Administrators who responsible for setting the local policies.
  • Multiple billing options
    Billing can be conducted based on owner or collaborator. Offline and online billing is supported. In case of online billing multiple payment gateways are supported and others can be added based on project demand.

3rd party integrations

  • Web services API
    A simple Restful based API is available for all tasks, e.g. register users automatically in SigningHub, initiate workflows and retrieve completed documents from your business apps. Click here (PDF) to learn more.
  • Tight website integration
    Use widgets and iFrames to tightly integrate your web application with SigningHub such that users have no indication that SigningHub is involved. This provides a consistent unified experience for the user. Click here for a demo.
  • SharePoint integration
    SigningHub comes out of the box with SharePoint integration, more details are here. Integration with other DMS or ECM solutions is available on a project need basis.

Rebranding & localisation

  • Re-branding
    SigningHub supports rebranding.
  • Localisation
    SigningHub supports multi-lingual capability and is currently available in Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Latvian, Spanish and Turkish. New languages are added as requested on priority basis.

Security, performance & high availability

  • User authentication
    SigningHub can authenticate users using multiple methods: username/passwords, SSL client certificates (on tokens/smartcards), SMS OTP authentication and mobile authentication.
  • User signing keys
    Each user has a unique digital signature key pair and certificate for maximum security. As explained above long-term signatures are created which included embedded signer’s certificate status information and secure trusted timestamps.
  • Document encryption
    All documents held within the SigningHub database are encrypted using AES-256 and never held in clear. Uploading of documents is over a secure SSL/TLS session. Documents are never attached in email notifications (only a HTTPS link is provided in emails).
  • WYSIWYS
    “What You See Is What You Sign” is an important security property to prevent unauthorised signing attacks. Within SigningHub the document is presented as a flattened image so no malicious code or macros are available inside the document which can present a different view of the document. To prevent malware running inside the user’s computer a separate channel can be used for the signing action, i.e. the user’s mobile (this is referred to as the mobile signing mode of SigningHub).
  • DLP protection
    Document owners can set-up additional document level access rights, such as whether collaborators can print the document or download it. Also date embargos can be set up to control during which date-time ranges the document is available. Document open passwords can also be used for an additional level of security. PDF certify signatures are also supported for locking the document from further edits after signing.
  • Maximum trust
    SigningHub is built on top of Ascertia’s ADSS Server, so delivers the strongest levels of security, auditing, alerting, reporting and high availability. Learn more about ADSS Server features here.

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