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LAWtrust, a leader in cryptographic-based security, today announced it had been appointed by the Department of Communications as an accredited authentication services provider in terms of the Electronic Communications and Transaction (ECT) Act of 2002.

The accreditation of authentication products and services allows the electronic signatures of such products and services to qualify as advanced electronic signatures (AeS); thus using a digital certificate issued by LAWtrust for this purpose is now deemed in terms of the ECT Act to be an advanced electronic signature.

“This successful accreditation is the culmination of the hard work that has been expended by my team over several months,” commented Christi Peens, Managing Director of LAWtrust. “The process to achieve this accreditation was a long and expensive one, and thus becoming the first such supplier of AeSes is just the ‘cherry on the top’. We initially embarked on this project back in 2007, when the SAAA first released its regulations for accreditation and have been consistent advocates of the need for a high assurance electronic signature that can be used to the benefit of South African business.

“We initially submitted our application back in September last year, after which it was subjected to the stringent evaluation process,” continued Peens. “This evaluation process, as well as the preparation of the original submission, required several specialist audits. A specialist audit of a Trust Centre and Certificate Authority, such as LAWtrust operates, is a detailed and expensive exercise, and going forward, one that is still required to be undertaken on an annual basis.

“Obviously, we are very excited about the future following this accreditation,” said Peens, “however, the ability for organisations to streamline many of their legal signing processes, such as the minutes of a board meeting, account opening processes or electronic contracting, are but some of many new opportunities that are now available to them with a legally accredited, high assurance Advanced Electronic Signature process.”

Under South African law, there are certain statutes that require a signature before a document or action will be considered valid from a legal perspective. If this signature is to be applied electronically, the Electronic Communications and Transaction (ECT) Act of 2002 created the concept of an ‘Advanced’ Electronic Signature (AeS), which must be issued by an authentication service provider (ASP), and is the only type of electronic signature that is recognised as legally acceptable.
For further information, please contact Christi Peens; tel. (012) 676 9240; e-mail

Issued by Global Research Partners via LAWTrust
LAWtrust, a member of the LAW Holdings Group, is the security partner of choice for organisations in the areas of cryptographic-based security such as digital certificates, PKI, digital signing, encryption, integrity and non-repudiation. In this regard, it has relationships with many international vendors, and using these and its own locally developed products, LAWtrust creates effective solutions to complex security needs and is noted for its prompt delivery of the relevant solutions, as a specialist applications security integrator.
LAWtrust is rated as a level 2 contributor BBBEE company and includes customers in both the public and private sectors such as the largest departments in central government and the ‘Big Six’ banks.
Editorial contact
Global Research Partners
Paul Booth
(082) 568 1179


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