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nCipher launches pdfproof, adobe acrobat digital signing system

23 February 2004  |  1148 views  |  0

nCipher plc (LSE:NCH), a leading provider of cryptographic IT security solutions, today announces the launch of pdfProof, a turnkey solution that works with Adobe® Acrobat® 6.0 software and establishes a single point within in the enterprise to digitally sign and securely time stamp any Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) document directly from any desktop equipped with Acrobat® 6.0. pdfProof establishes an Adobe PDF document's authenticity and securely binds it to the identity of its originator establishing an audit trail certifying the integrity of the document's content at a securely measured point in time.

While it is easy to see if a handwritten document has been tampered with, electronic documents are far more vulnerable to undetected manipulation and yet must still provide a permanent and irrefutable record. With Adobe PDF firmly established as the global de facto standard for corporate document interchange and archiving, nCipher's pdfProof document sealing solution cost-effectively enables the level of auditability often mandated in regulated industries and provides the evidential support needed by governmental legislation such as the US Government Paperwork Elimination Act.

"PDF is already widely accepted as a standard format for enabling more secure and reliable electronic document distribution," said John Landwehr, group manager for Security Solutions and Strategy at Adobe. "nCipher's pdfProof builds on the inherent document security capabilities in PDF and delivers the next level of security for digital signatures coupled with a verifiable time stamp for the enterprise customer within a single networked appliance."

nCipher's pdfProof solution can provide a more cost-effective and yet still more secure alternative to the traditional approach of signing documents on individual users' desktop PCs. In many situations, for example where documents are submitted by companies to external regulators, signatures by individuals can be meaningless and moreover are dangerously insecure. Sealing documents for submittal or archive at the organisational level using a shared resource not only removes the need to issue electronic credentials to each employee but also allows the whole organisation to take advantage of a significantly higher grade of security.

"Both public and private sector organisations are having to address the security challenges associated with extending their existing document and records management systems to establish certified electronic originals." says Alan Lewis, product manager at nCipher. "nCipher's experience in the delivery of cryptographic security provides the basis for creating an enterprise administered 'stamp' binding both PDF content, organisational identity and secure time in an independently certified security platform."

pdfProof comprises a network-based appliance that is easy accessible though the use of the pdfProof plug-in by any networked Acrobat user within the organisation. The pdfProof appliance can seal up to 125 documents per second on behalf of a company, department or government agency. To maximise security all signing, time stamping and clock operations are performed securely within an nCipher FIPS 140 Level-3 validated tamper-resistant, Hardware Security Module (HSM). The exact time that a document is signed is synchronised with the internationally recognised time standard, Universal Coordinated Time (UTC).

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