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Blockchain-based digital signatures for greater privacy and security

With more and more businesses, governments, and individuals employing blockchain technology for commerce and operations, ZorroSign stands as key addition to your technology stack. 

Whether you’re decentralizing data with web3, securing cloud or software-as-a-service (SaaS) architectures, committing to digital transformation, or elevating sustainability, our multi-chain blockchain solution is the perfect addition to your IT offerings—learn how!

If You’re Decentralizing with Web3

The idea of escaping a centralized authority managing protocols, transactions, and access was built into the World Wide Web from its earliest days

  • Web 1.0 was the initial iteration of the World Wide Web in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  “Web 1.0 is the term used for the earliest version of the Internet as it emerged from its origins with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA),” writes Kuntal Chakraborty for Techopedia. “Experts refer to it as the ‘read-only’ web—a web that was not interactive in any significant sense.”
  • From those early static web pages, a platform model of computing soon evolved that would become Web 2.0 or the ‘social web.’  Here, interaction with growing web applications and platforms drove e-commerce and the expansion of the Internet, allowing large providers to aggregate and control much of the shared data.  This is the Internet we know today.
  • The dream of Web 3.0, however, is to break the centralization of information and democratize the Internet more to the vision of its earliest founders.  “Web3, ” claims Chris Dixon from Andreesen Horowitz in a recent article in The Economist, “combines the decentralized, community-governed ethos of web1 with the advanced, modern functionality of web2.”

“The rise of technologies such as distributed ledgers and storage on blockchain will allow for data decentralization and create a transparent and secure environment, overtaking Web 2.0’s centralization, surveillance and exploitative advertising,” writes Charles Silver in a recent Forbes article.  “Indeed, one of the most significant implications of decentralization and blockchain technology is in the area of data ownership and compensation… Web 3.0 will bring us a fairer internet by enabling the individual to be a sovereign.”

Blockchains are distributed ledger technology (DLT) leveraging cryptography—user authentication, data encryption and verification—to secure information records (blocks) distributed across peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. DLTs replicate, share, and synchronize digital data geographically spread across multiple sites (nodes), with no central data storage or administrator. They can run publicly (open) or privately (permissioned).

Perhaps most importantly, blockchains can support smart contracts—where terms, conditions, and permissions written into the digital code that require an exact sequence of events to take place to trigger the agreement of the terms mentioned in the blockchain contract. This hardwiring of contract details greatly increases speed (via automation), trust (where accuracy and backup are built into the transaction), and autonomy (as no third parties are required to mediate or control the exchange) of transactions.

As such, centralized solutions such as blockchains have immense potential to transform business contracts, real estate deals, digital rights, supply chain security and provenance, estate planning, and many other legal transactions.

And here is where ZorroSign shines! 

User Experience

We have built our digital platform from the ground up using blockchain technology.  Launched with Hyperledger Fabric, our multi-chain platform now supports the public Provenance Blockchain as well, giving our users an entirely new world of decentralized digital transactions.

Our web3 technology platform also provides identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) capabilities through a patented Z-Forensics token plus fraud prevention, user authentication, and document verification.  Web3 features such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) allow us to automate form completion for digital documents, and can improve regulatory compliance across global standards for legally enforceable digital signatures.

Paired with Provenance Blockchain—which reduces the need for third-party intermediation, drastically reducing costs and freeing up capital in financial transactions—ZorroSign’s platform promotes greater transparency and liquidity for organizations, and allows for new kinds of financial engineering and business opportunities.

If You’re Securing SaaS or Cloud Solutions

More than 90% of all cyber attacks begin with phishing but blockchain architecture, originally built for zero-trust environments, can deliver a compelling alternative to centralized databases and a strong protection against cyber attacks. How?

  • In phishing attacks that seek to steal data, blockchain presents a data architecture where no single endpoint node controls the data set. Even if an individual endpoint is hacked through phishing or other social engineering, the data set is distributed across many nodes. This decentralization of data and access means even successful phishing attacks that penetrate a blockchain endpoint only gain a small piece of system access.
  • In cyber attacks that seek to inject malware such as ransomware, the distributed nature of blockchain defeats those seeking to breach a system then holistically ransom the data files stored therein. Again, a single endpoint node might be breached, but the larger data set cannot be controlled by any one endpoint (or central authority) and so attackers cannot capture the full data set for encryption, ransom, and shutting down the network.
  • Recovery is quicker with blockchain, too. With blockchain, each endpoint node has a unique encryption key to access and write to the distributed ledger. If any one of those endpoints is successfully hacked (compromising their access key), the blockchain can simply remove distributed ledger access for that compromised key, issue the endpoint a new key, and allow that endpoint to quickly regain distributed ledger access (effectively as a new endpoint). This speedy recovery process effectively maroons any ransomware on the endpoint it attacked—ending its access and threat—while allowing the endpoint to re-engage the larger data set with a new key and without needing to pay any ransom to the attackers for restored access.

ZorroSign technology leverages the biometric capabilities of hardware endpoints to verify user identities—for example, PC and mobile device fingerprint scans, iris scans, and face recognition to ensure users are who they claim to be.

ZorroSign is proud to be the first to adopt password-less login amongst our digital signature competitors.

And ZorroSign multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides maximum security, as before a user can sign a document, our platform can validate multiple dimensions of authentication based upon your transaction security needs: What you know (i.e., your ZorroSign login password ), what you have (e.g., your laptop or mobile device), who you are (e.g., biometrics such as fingerprints or eye iris on the device securing who can access it), etc.

ZorroSign has further elevated our security through our patented fraud detection technology we call the Z-Forensics token, our unique digital solution that can:

  • Prove that the individual who is performing the action to sign the document is who they claim to be (verification); 
  • Apply a digital equivalent of a wet-ink signature to the document (legal intent); and, 
  • Prove the authenticity of the printed copy or digital version of an electronically signed document, its content, attachments, and the signatures on it (authenticity).

Unlike any other digital signature solution, ZorroSign seals all your documents with our Z-Forensics token—capturing the complete audit trail and accompanying attachments and signature workflow. The token is encrypted and contains all the details about the transaction: Time stamps, user authentication, documents and attachments.

And like your SaaS solutions, ZorroSign’s SaaS model can be deployed in various cloud configurations, making it seamless to integrate into your existing platform as a public, private, hybrid, or on-premise cloud:

  • Our standard deployment is on Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud computing network
  • In our private cloud configuration, all your data and the ZorroSign application run in a private and secure cloud network dedicated to your organization
  • In a hybrid cloud configuration, your data can be stored on either ZorroSign data centers or in the private cloud, while the ZorroSign platform and applications run on their standard public cloud configurations
  • On-premise deployments require your department to manage and maintain your own data centers, but gain the benefits of unlimited API calls and total control over identity access management (IAM), data privacy and security, and data integrity processes

If You’re Committed to Digital Transformation

For years, organizations have steadily moved more and more of their operations to digital data and delivery. Such advances save time and effort, automate key processes, and drive greater efficiency and effectiveness. With digital transformation, customers or constituents can receive services faster and gain self-service options, and employees get more time to work on the most important projects.

“Digital transformation is no longer an option, but an imperative,” notes the Harvard Business Review. “Recent research from Accenture has found that in the three years prior to 2018, firms who led their industry in enterprise technology adoption grew two times faster than laggards. Today, they are growing five times faster. The risk is no longer merely getting left behind, but being eliminated altogether.”

For organizations leveraging digital data, apps and SaaS, IoT, or any of the multitude of other digital solutions, adding ZorroSign can be an important consideration.

To transact business, commerce, government, or individual trade in such a digital ecosystem also requires legally enforceable digital signatures to prove agreement and intent. Our multi-chain blockchain platform delivers such digital signatures and ensures the digital chain-of-custody necessary to successfully defend digital signatures in a court of law.

And by digitizing paper-based workflows, ZorroSign’s digital signature and document management platform can decrease costs, reduce errors, and increase productivity across digital operations . . . a massive benefit for any organization committed to digital transformation!

If You’re Focused on Sustainable Business

Digital operations also eliminate paper so “going green” with paperless operations may readily align to your IT organization’s corporate social responsibility goals or vision. 

At ZorroSign, we help IT organizations deliver paperless operations. We all understand that switching from doing business using paper to digital records is not only a smart business decision, but it is also good for the environment. Each time you use ZorroSign to digitally transact agreements, contracts, and other documents—instead of printing, faxing, scanning, shipping documents overnight to collect signatures—you save trees and water, plus reduce carbon emissions.

Further, ZorroSign is dedicated to advancing sustainability while advancing new technologies, promoting a paperless life and leading sustainability programs that support environmental conservation. The company’s Save-a-Tree, Plant-a-Tree program, for example, plants a tree on behalf of customers every time they save 8,000 pages of copy paper. As one tree produces roughly 8,000 pages of copy paper, this amounts to a double incentive: Reducing the destruction of trees via reduced paper use, plus increasing the number of trees as a reward for reducing paper use.

For all these reasons and more, if you are using blockchain technologies—or planning to in 2023—consider ZorroSign as a strong complement to your technology stack!  You can start with a free 14-day trial to see what we can deliver or contact us to learn more!

Innovation awards

With new technologies constantly coming to market, companies must make an effort to be innovate in order to stay relevant and not get left behind. 

ZorroSign is committed to continuous technology innovation and our achievements have been recognized with the following awards over the past year:

Then, in June 2022, ZorroSign was recognized as the “Most Innovative Blockchain Company from Sri Lanka” by APAC Business Headlines. The award celebrates ZorroSign’s software development team in Sri Lanka as they lead innovation in blockchain technologies for the company’s global customers.

ZorroSign was awarded a gold Stevie in the Blockchain Solution category at the 18th Annual International Business Awards at the end of 2021. We were also recognized with two bronze Stevie® Awards for Company of The Year – Computer Software and Most Innovative Tech Company of The Year.

According to the judges, ZorroSign “pushes the needle on innovation,” demonstrates “great use of blockchain and Hyperledger to solve signature issues,” is “one of the few companies that are able to use blockchain technology to solve a real business problem,” and declares, “blockchain is the future of digital signature.”

We could not be more proud of this recognition and the Stevie judges’ comments!

APAC Business Headlines

APAC Business Headlines praised ZorroSign’s commitment to delivering superior privacy and security, as well as the company’s ability to make a difference through sustainable practices.  You can read the magazine article at https://www.apacbusinessheadlines.com/Blockchain-2-web-version/ZorroSign/

Insights Success

And in July 2022, ZorroSign announced our appearance on Insights Success cover as one of the “Ten Most Innovative FinTech Solution Providers in 2022.”

Insights Success celebrated ZorroSign’s multi-chain blockchain platform as a groundbreaking solution in financial technologies and driving force for blockchain and web3.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by Insights Success and counted amongst the most innovative fintech solutions providers today,” said Shamsh Hadi, co-founder and CEO of ZorroSign, Inc. “As most financial service providers currently deploy legacy technologies, the opportunity for early adopters to leap ahead with blockchain solutions—such as ZorroSign—becomes an asset and key competitive advantage.”

ZorroSign continues to create and use new technologies, driving both industry innovation and greater sustainability. On August 15th we will be launching our completely redesigned next generation platform—including upgrades to our user experience, user interface, new features, security, compliance and system updates.

Contact us to learn more . . . or start your free trial to put our innovative digital signature software to the test!

(Originally published in Tech Channel News)

Our CEO and co-founder, Shamsh Hadi, was recently interviewed by two technology news outlets—Tech Channel News and TahawulTech.com.

Tech Channel News helps C-level executives in India and Gulf identify technologies and strategies to empower and streamline business processes. Their portal at techchannel.news informs leaders of what’s new in tech and why it matters.

TahawulTech.com, published by CPI Media Group, is the definitive platform in the Middle East for IT content. Covering stories across enterprise technology, cybersecurity and the region’s IT channel industry, TahawulTech.com brings business leaders and technology decision makers together to share their stories of transformation.

Here are short summaries of those interviews and links to read the original pieces!

ZorroSign Making Waves in Digital Signature Space Using Blockchain Technology

In April 2022, Tech Channel News’ Naushad K. Cherrayil interviewed Mr. Hadi on how ZorroSign safeguards the privacy and security of digital documents, and provides an immutable chain of custody for digital transactions, for governments and organizations in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries.

The article notes that there are “huge players in the digital signature space, but none of them have figured out how to cost-effectively map their legacy software in technologies and evolve it into Web 3.0 and blockchain solutions today.”

“We have solved all these problems,” said Hadi. “Successfully bringing blockchain to digital signatures—unlike other competitors, big and small, who simply tried to add blockchain onto their legacy software.”

The article explores ZorroSign’s roots in Dubai with development in Sri Lanka, moving the company’s global headquarters to Phoenix, and standing out from the crowd in a competitive eSignature space.

“Our platform was invented to move documentation, digital transactions from a relationship built on trust to a relationship built on truth, providing customers the ability to positively impact the environment with sustainable practices and securely transform their paper-based workloads to digital in a bid to remove errors and increase productivity,” Hadi added.

Tech Channel News uncovers how ZorroSign leverages blockchain’s zero-trust environment to support governments in the Gulf who are looking specifically for blockchain solutions, noting “two countries that are pushing forward are the UAE and Saudi Arabia.”

You can read Mr. Cherrayil’s full piece in Tech Channel News at https://www.techchannel.news/18/04/2022/zorrosign-making-waves-in-digital-signature-space-using-blockchain-technology/

Tackling Identity Theft

In May 2022, TahawulTech.com’s Anita Joseph interviewed Mr. Hadi on how ZorroSign not only provides digital signatures built on a blockchain architecture, but also integrates identity-as-a-service (IDaaS), biometrics, KBAs, and patented Z-Forensics token to prevent fraud and address identity theft risks.

Ms. Joseph also starts with ZorroSign’s founding in Dubai and how HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Digital City Vision for Smart Dubai has been a guiding principle for ZorroSign—including his goal of a paperless life in the UAE by 2030.

The article then talks of identity theft and how ZorroSign technologies confront the issue: “Not only does our web3 platform leverage the cryptographic security capabilities of blockchain,” said Hadi. “But it also integrates Identity-as-a-Service technologies into our solution set to combat fraud, identity theft, and cyber-attacks.”

Security trends, cybercrime, and various cyber-attacks are discussed, as well as how distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain can help defend and/or recover from such attack vectors.  The article ends with ZorroSign’s plans for 2022 and early verticals benefitting from blockchain-based digital signatures.

You can read Ms. Joseph’s full piece in TahawulTech.com at https://www.tahawultech.com/industry/technology/interview-tackling-identity-theft/amp/

Learn more about how ZorroSign helps governments, companies, and individuals around the world with digital signatures and maintaining privacy and security with their digital transactions:  Contact us today or start your Free Trial.

Sustainable technology
Originally published by Shamsh Hadi on LinkedIn

In an earlier article, I briefly introduced sustainability in advancing technology—specifically urging innovators to be aware of the impact of their new technologies on the environment and human sustainability.

In advance of Earth Day 2022, I reiterate that while it is easy to laud the potential of new technologies, we must also be wary of their effects on the environment . . . specifically the depletion of natural resources which may disrupt ecological balance. This is not to say innovation must be stymied, but that the true price of innovation must be measured in more than purely economic terms.

Defining Sustainability for Business

My quick definition of sustainability—from the Brundtland Report, drafted by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987—is simply “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Bigger picture, the idea of sustainability is “often broken down into three pillars: economic, environmental, and social—also known informally as profits, planet, and people.” For me, new technologies tend to span all three: Driven by economic goals, but often extracting environmental and social costs.

For example, it has been a long-running criticism of bitcoin that the proof-of-work data mining required to produce coins consumes an astonishing amount of electricity. With many public blockchains used for cryptocurrencies, mining coins requires complicated mathematical processing on high-end graphic processing units (GPUs), consuming energy both for calculation processing and cooling those GPUs down under heavy load.

“Scientists from the University of Cambridge Judge Business School recently built an interactive analysis tool to calculate the real energy cost of bitcoin cryptocurrency,” explains Caroline Delbert in Popular Mechanics. “Using their energy use model, the researchers found that bitcoin mining uses more energy each year (130.00 terawatt-hours [TWh]) than the entire country of Argentina (125.03 TWh).”

Another example might emphasize social sustainability. “Social sustainability is about identifying and managing business impacts, both positive and negative, on people,” notes UN Global Compact.

Recall how Facebook’s social network technologies were taken to task by The Social Dilemma—a documentary highlighting the dangerous impact of social networking, which represents a sustainability challenge to human societies.

The film shows that while social networks’ cost is not environmental per se, social media’s “design nurtures an addiction, manipulates people’s views, emotions, and behavior, and spreads conspiracy theories and disinformation . . . [plus an] effect on mental health (including the mental health of adolescents and rising teen suicide rates).” Such social costs put existing social media in direct conflict with sustainable practices.

Balancing Innovation and Sustainability

So how can innovators build and create without jeopardizing the “ability of future generations to meet their needs”?

Such effort requires vision beyond immediate solutions and an eye for real-world consequences . . . even those completely unintended or unexpected in the deployment and adoption of new technology.

“The Industrial Revolution brought forth extraordinary gains in financial prosperity. Between 1870 and 1910, per capita income in the United States rose almost 40 percent, and the value of manufacturing output increased sevenfold. Yet rapid industrialization left in its wake darkened noontime skies, noisy and unsafe machinery, and severely compromised living conditions,” write David Austin and Molly K. Macauley in a classic article from Brookings. “Technology is a double-edged sword—one capable both of doing and undoing damage to environmental quality.”

“Technology has the ability to significantly impact the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” says Jeff Fromm in a Forbes article on sustainability and innovation. “As well as improve work/life balance, enable commerce and so much more.”

Here, environmental technologies have a chance to remedy the historical efforts of Industrial Revolution technologies that brought pollution and ecological disruption, as well as massively depleting natural resources.

“We are currently living in a period of rapid change, where technological developments are revolutionizing the way we live, at the same time as leading us further into the depths of catastrophe in the form of climate change and resource scarcity,” adds a great piece by Edinburgh Sensors. “While the impact of technology on the environment has been highly negative, the concept of environmental technology could save our planet from the harm that has been done.”

Even those technologies that simply avert environmental damage, without perhaps directly rebuilding or restoring natural resources, can have a tremendously positive effect on sustainability.

ZorroSign’s Example

Circling back to my company, ZorroSign’s platform was originally built on private, permissioned Hyperledger Fabric.

Starting with this economic pillar, we constructed a blockchain platform unlike bitcoin and the proof-of-work cryptocurrency models, instead leveraging Hyperledger Fabric as a next-generation enterprise blockchain architecture with lower electricity costs and a smaller carbon footprint. Hyperledger Fabric is a next-generation enterprise blockchain architecture “with even lower electricity costs and attendant carbon footprints,” writes Michael Barnard in a CleanTechnica report.

Hyperledger Fabric’s architecture is so completely different from the mining and broadly distributed model of bitcoin, that the enterprise blockchain can operate faster with far, far lower energy consumption rates. This combination of speed and energy-efficiency made Hyperledger Fabric the sustainable choice to launch ZorroSign’s digital platform.

For the environmental pillar, ZorroSign’s vision includes a commitment to saving trees and having a positive impact on the environment through sustainable practices. With our Save-a-Tree, Plant-a-Tree program, ZorroSign plants a tree on behalf of our customers every time they save 8,000 pages of copy paper! As one tree produces roughly 8,000 pages of copy paper, this amounts to a double incentive:  Reducing the destruction of trees via reduced paper use and increasing the number of trees as reward for reducing paper use. Again, our efforts aspire to realize significant environmental benefits such as conserving water, reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and reducing deforestation.

At ZorroSign, we use blockchain to help individuals, businesses, and governments to achieve a paperless life. Here we embrace the social pillar: Understanding that switching to digital records is not only a smart business decision, but it is also good for the environment and society.

Every time someone uses ZorroSign to digitally sign agreements, contracts, and other documents—instead of printing, faxing, scanning, and couriering documents to collect signatures—we all save trees, save water, and reduce carbon emissions. By moving social costs from paper consumption, logistics, and storage to digital signatures, digital archiving, and digital chains-of-custody, we advance a technology that similarly advances sustainability.

I am eager to engage technology innovators in advancing their solutions while also advancing sustainability goals!  Connect with me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shamsh-hadi/

March 21, 2022, marked the 10th anniversary of International Day of Forests. This day calls attention to the importance of practicing sustainability in both your business and your personal life. Often people have a desire to live a more sustainable life, but do not know where to start . . .  

Here are four ways you can practice sustainability in your day-to-day life!

Recycle & Reuse

One ready way to practice sustainability is to make a real effort to recycle and reuse. Did you know each ton of recycled paper saves an estimated 17 trees and 3.3 cubic yards of land space? Every small and large contribution that you make counts!

You’ve most likely heard the phrase “Reduce, reuse, recycle” your whole life, but how do you actively turn a nice-sounding phrase into a habit?

  • Try to reuse products and items as many times as possible before binning them to reduce waste. Check out this list of household items that you would normally throw away, but you can reuse!
  • Avoid thin plastic packaging, as it’s usually non-recyclable. Instead go for reusable glass or thick plastic.
  • Instead of using plastic bags, bring reusable bags and Tupperware when going shopping or packing food or leftovers.
  • Buy products in bulk. Purchasing goods in large amounts means less packaging and even less cost per amount.
  • Utilizing trash removal and recycling services can also help you to manage waste effectively

Monitor Energy Use

Another great way to be sustainable is monitoring your energy use. By using less energy, you can help to reduce carbon emissions. There are a number of ways you can save energy at home, and most of them are practices that take no extra effort on your part.

Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Turn off the lights when you’re not in the room; use natural light instead of turning the lights on as much as you can.
  • Turn off appliances that you’re not currently using.
  • Dry your clothes outside instead of using the drying machine.
  • Save money with solar energy

Save Water

It is a fact that 70% of the Earth is covered with water, only one percent of it is available for human consumption. Conserving water is important because it keeps our water clean while protecting the environment.

Here are some effective and easy ways to cut back on your water footprint and save some money in the process:

  • Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth
  • Wash dishes in the sink instead of under running water
  • Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load
  • Check your kitchen pipes and dishwater hose for slow leaks

Go Paperless with ZorroSign

ZorroSign is committed to having a positive impact on the environment through sustainable practices. Switching from doing business using paper to digital is not only a smart business decision but it is also good for the environment.

Office paper waste is estimated to be around 12.1 trillion sheets of paper a year, with paper accounting for 50% of waste from businesses.

However, each time you use ZorroSign to digitally transact instead of printing, faxing, scanning, and shipping documents to collect signatures, you save trees and water . . . plus reduce carbon emissions while your business saves time and money!

To further the cause of Paperless Life, ZorroSign encourages all businesses to go digital and save trees. Our Save a Tree – Plant a Tree program is ZorroSign’s effort to do our part to help the environment. For every 8,000 pages of paper you save by using ZorroSign, we plant a tree on your behalf—that’s saving an existing tree and planting a new tree by going paperless with ZorroSign.

To learn more about ZorroSign’s commitment to sustainability and environment conservation, and how we deliver greater privacy and security for digital signatures and documents, contact us today!