In an ever-growing digital world, it has become essential to prove the existence of specific data at a specific date and time, especially, in a dispute during the course of business. Associating a date or time with a document, also known as "trusted timestamping", provides auditable proof of the exact time at which the record or transaction was created, updated, or deleted. As such, your business must use trusted timestamping to secure documents and transactions.

Business analyst at LAWtrust, Riaan de Villiers, says a document with a trusted timestamp is a formidable piece of evidence that will help to resolve disputes about the time of a transaction very quickly.

Imagine signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with a specific contractor. After some time, it comes to light that the contractor has leaked sensitive information to a third party. During the dispute, the contractor argues that the information leaked before the signing of the NDA. Your organisation’s lawyers argue that the information leaked after the NDA was signed. A trusted timestamp on the document will help you quickly resolve the issue by providing an accurate and verifiable time of when the NDA was signed.

“The exact time of a transaction can be very handy in the case of a dispute. However, sometimes a normal timestamp obtained from a user’s computer will not be enough. Any user can easily manipulate the time and date on their computer. A trusted timestamp is supplied by a trusted third party, timestamp authority. The timestamp authority applies a verified and auditable date and time from a Coordinated Universal Time source,” adds de Villiers.

Furthermore, the timestamp is protected from tampering using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) cryptography in combination with industry-standard cryptographic hardware. Applications such as Adobe Reader can automatically query the evidence in a timestamp to verify that the timestamp has not been changed maliciously or by accident.

LAWtrust’s Trusted Timestamp Authority is available as a cloud-hosted service or it can be deployed on-premises for a wide variety of needs. The service provides independent and irrefutable proof of time for business transactions, e-documents and digital signatures. The timestamp can independently prove when a digital signature was applied even after the signing certificate has expired.

Here is why you should use the LAWtrust TSA Server:

  • A highly effective, flexible Timestamp Authority server designed for use as an   Enterprise TSA or as a high-volume commercial service TSA.
  • Supports RFC 3161 TSP and Microsoft Authenticode timestamp protocols.
  • Provides very effective timestamp service management with detailed transaction logs with viewing, searching, reporting and archiving options.
  • Supports strong signing algorithms like RSA and elliptic curve cryptography.
  • Supports all common hashing algorithms.
  • Is easy to install, configure and manage using secure web browser management screens.
  • Records and archives issued timestamps if required for legislative or regulatory purposes or as evidence to simplify dispute resolution processes.

“To ensure that the information shared in documents is protected, it is crucial for organisations to effectively use trusted timestamping, as this will fortify security measures put in place,” concludes de Villiers.