What types of digital certificate exist and which one do I need?

Escrito por: Natalia Herrero Fecha Wednesday 24, March 2021 Categoría: Digital Certificate

As we already know, a digital certificate is the electronic document that guarantees a person’s identity on the Internet and, depending on the type of digital certificate, allows them to carry out actions such as signing documents or accessing electronic offices. Therefore, nowadays, it is essential for companies and professionals to have a certificate in order to be able to carry out their work.

Remember that if you do not have a digital certificate, you must go to a Certification Authority, recognised as a Trusted Service Provider such as Ivnosys, to have it issued. It is important to do so with an officially recognised entity to ensure that the identity of the holder, the integrity of the message and the non-repudiation of electronic transactions are guaranteed.

Classification of digital certificate types

There are many types of digital certificates, as they can identify us as a natural person (if we are an individual), as a legal entity (if we are a company) and many more, depending on the actions we need to carry out online.

In this post we will help you to find out about the different types of digital certificate and the most common uses of each of them so that you can choose the most suitable one according to your needs.

To establish a general division, we can classify the certificates according to 3 different actions: if we want to carry out transactions with the Public Administrations, Business transactions or more technical things related to Components.

Certificates in relation to Public Administration

There are three types of certificates for dealing with public administrations, either as a public employee or as an external person, which are suitable for each situation:

  • Qualified civil servant certificate: Qualified digital certificate that identifies natural persons working in a Public Administration, such as civil servants, employment personnel, statutory personnel and authorised personnel. It provides information on the position and department of the holder and allows them to make electronically signed communications.
  • E-Office Certificate: converts a public administration website into an electronic office where companies and citizens can carry out procedures electronically in a secure way. To access the electronic site, the legal representative or proxy must be accredited with a qualified digital certificate.
  • E-Stamp for automated actuation: This certificate allows a legal entity to identify itself and sign documents electronically without incorporating the details of a representative. This type of certificate allows documents or codes to be stamped, making it suitable for automated processes such as the generation of receipts, invoices or mailings.

Corporate Certificates

If we need that an employee uses the digital certificate to carry out a procedure on behalf of the company, we must think about the figure of that person and their relationship with the company when choosing between one type of certificate or another. Thus, we have:

  • Corporate certificate: Identifica electrónicamente a una persona física y la vincula a una entidad informando del cargo que desempeña (empleado, asociado, colaborador, cliente o proveedor) sin informar de la existencia de poderes de representación. El titular puede usar la firma electrónica acreditando su pertenencia a la organización, sin ningún poder superior.
  • Qualified legal representative certificate: certificado cualificado que permite a una persona física con poderes de representación general actuar en representación de una entidad. Este certificado permite realizar trámites administrativos online así como firmar documentos digitales. Por ello, pueden hacer uso de él representantes legales o apoderados con poderes generales.
  • Certificate of Representative: este tipo de certificado digital está dirigido en exclusiva a apoderados especiales. Les permite actuar en representación de una organización o entidad para trámites online con las AAPP y usar la firma digital. Así, pueden ser titulares las personas físicas con poderes notariales especiales sobre una organización. Tendrán la responsabilidad de hacer uso de él acorde a sus poderes y limitaciones. La diferencia con el representante legal es que éste tiene poder de representación general, mientras que el apoderado se limita a ciertas funciones. Ambas figuras serían equivalentes en caso de tratarse de apoderados con poderes generales.
  • Certificate of Representative for procedures with the Public Authorities: This type of qualified digital certificate allows a natural person to carry out online procedures with public administrations in the name and on behalf of an organisation. For example, when filing and settling taxes, applying for subsidies, administrative files, submitting applications for public tenders, etc. It can be used by legal representatives and proxies with sufficient powers to represent an organisation, with the responsibility of using it in accordance with their powers.

Component Certificate

These digital certificates differ from the certificates seen until now, since they do not serve to identify people when they carry out an online transaction, but rather to complement, protect and secure IT processes.

  • Web Authentication Certificate (SSL EV): This certificate is incorporated into online businesses to certify that the company’s website is a secure site (avoiding bad practices such as malware or other online fraud) and allows encrypted communications between the user and the website. It is the well-known secure site padlock.
  • E-stamp: This certificate is used for the automation of signature and authentication processes between computer systems. The certificate may be associated with a private key that is kept in safekeeping to guarantee the integrity and authenticity of the signed documents. Its duration is between 1 and 4 years, depending on the chosen format.
  • PSD2:specific digital certificate for third party payment service providers (TTP). This certificate complies with the PSD2 Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) specifications that require the use of the Qualified Certificate for Electronic Seal (QSEALC) and the Qualified Website Authentication Certificate (QWAC).

Do you need to deal with the Public Administration or sign a digital contract with a supplier? Whatever your situation, you already know the different types of digital certificate and you are ready to choose the most suitable one for each situation!

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