More than ever, information system security is a strategic priority for companies of all sizes. These companies are increasingly exposed to cyber attacks and now consider IT security as a strategic issue, changing their governance to limit their exposure to risks.
The observation is a simple one: security incidents increase exponentially every year. Publications by specialized institutes and insurers demonstrate the extent of the phenomenon and its increasing cost; this is true for all types of organizations, whether private, public or associative. The increasing hyper-connectivity imposed by justified business needs overexposes companies to ever more numerous, complex and varied attacks.
In this context, we will discuss the pillar of cybersecurity from the point of view of electronic exchanges: digital trust, through three strategic topics that concern all organizations.
Digital identity: everyone known and recognized
Whether personal or legal, the purpose of digital identity is to guarantee your correspondent’s identity. Whether the sender of an e-mail or a website is involved, the notion of trust must only exist via a guarantor. By using SSL certificates, a proven organization for managing these identities and a reliable method of communication, this guarantor reduces the risk of identity theft.
The electronic signature: a pragmatic vehicle for authentication
Electronic signatures make the contract signing process more reliable and ensure that the messages and operations carried out are actually performed by the persons concerned. With electronic signatures, customer, supplier and employee pathways are optimized. In addition, they help reduce costs and improve efficiency, while increasing the security of signed documents. An e-signature is legally valid and simplifies the life of professionals.
Time stamping: the seal of the 21st century
Time stamping a digital document consists of affixing a date to a file and guaranteeing its integrity. In addition to dating the file, it also guarantees that the document has not been modified and is used, for example, to affix a date of issue to an electronic invoice. This is therefore an evolution of the traditional seal which has taken on board the specific requirements of digital exchanges.
These three pillars are effective only if strict rules are respected. Among other things, these must impose systematic encryption of all exchanges and a security cockpit closely monitoring the company’s activities in order to identify the faint signals of potential digital fraud.
The various certifications impose a security regulatory framework on any activity that deals with dematerialized data. It is therefore important to make sure of the commitments and professionalism of suppliers, service providers and customers through this type of certification, in order to line up a good level of security throughout the chain of communication of activities.
This is because hyper-connectivity and speed of processing requirements mean that companies are opening up and this may seem to go against the dogmas of cybersecurity. However, information security must move with the business and adapt continuously, just as cyber threats adapt far more effectively than any organization.
Only then can the risk of cyber-threats to companies be gradually reduced.
Jérôme Farrouil, Group Information Systems Security Director