by Zachary Gentry – Concert CEO
Note: In our last blog of this series, we discussed how CONCERT enables users to confidently share their design and construction data. (Unify the Log: Concert’s First Promise) In this, we connect how we create certainty around the identity of the individuals and businesses with which you work.
Identity management in the design and construction process is challenged by two primary risks – the sheer amount of data created in the process and the digital nature of and variety of data formats. Traditional methods, rooted in paper-based ideas of information transfer, fall short of imparting the signer’s identity. Signing and sealing documents rose to prominence in medieval times when official letters carried a seal in wax to confer their authenticity and impart a mechanism of certainty for the recipient. We have that language in the modern age as we continue to say that we “sign and seal” our official design & construction documents. But in the digital design and construction age, this traditional mechanism falls short of ensuring the identity of the authorizing agent. Concert solves this problem in some very novel ways.
The Risks of Stolen Identity in the Digital Age
Stolen identity risks will increase in design and construction just as it has in all other industries. Concert exists to help individuals and businesses stay ahead of this ever-changing curve. Concerts’ digital signatures provide a way to verify the signer’s identity and ensure the integrity of design documents. The company’s process verifies that the signer is in good standing with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and has the right to practice professionally. In addition, the signature process requires multi-factor authentication to ensure that only the professional responsible for signing can authorize their signature. This ensures the integrity of the signed information and significantly reduces the risk of falsification.
The Necessity of Using Cryptography for Signatures
There are several critical reasons for using cryptography. One of the most significant is document reliability. In Concert, a cryptographic signature is permanently tied to the document by a cryptographic hash, a security protocol that disassociates the signature if the document is changed. This ensures that if the document is altered, maliciously, or mistakenly, the authority of the document imparted by the signatory is voided.
This is a critical issue when working through regulatory processes with AHJs, authorizing information to be used for a specific purpose in construction or transmitting the record of the design process. A cryptographic signature is a unique identifier that embodies the verified, authentic authority of the signer, not a facsimile image (also known as an electronic signature) of a signature or a stand-alone seal. For example, while many electronic processes allow users to sign anywhere at any time, only a verified signature authenticates that the individual signing is the only person authorized to do so. In the fast-paced world of today, productivity demands this solution.
The Value Proposition of Concert’s Cryptographic Signature Identity
Concerts’ cryptographic signatures offer several benefits to individuals and businesses:
- Accelerate the adoption of digital practice and digital deliverables, proving that all design and construction data can be signed electronically in the signer’s capacity as a professional.
- Creates a mechanism to detect any alteration to the authorized files.
- Identity management is simplified, increasing confidence in the documents being signed.
- Design and construction data digitally signed in Concert has the same legal value as hand-signed paper documents. This ensures that the documents are legally binding and can be used in court.
The art of falsifying identity has existed for centuries, but with the advent of digital design and construction, the risks associated with identity management have increased. Concert offers a solution to this problem by providing authenticated digital signatures that are cryptographically tied to the document, ensuring document reliability, regulatory compliance, cost savings, increased productivity, and reduced carbon footprint.
Professionals using Concert’s cryptographic signature solution are shifting to digital and proving the value of signing digital design documents in their capacity as professionals. Their clients and other interested parties can feel confident that a document signed in Concert is authentic and that the signer is whom they say they are.
Cryptographic signatures are an essential tool for professionals in the modern age, and Concert is at the forefront of this movement, providing secure and efficient solutions. We are your trusted scribe and won’t require you to muck up your desk with candle wax!