CoSign digital signatures automate your approvals affordably so that you can cut costs and expedite processes. Looking to learn more about using CoSign digital signatures (electronic signatures) for Microsoft Office, PDF and other applications? You’ve come to the right place

For questions regarding CoSign Central, please refer to the CoSign Central FAQ. For questions regarding CoSign Cloud, please refer to the CoSign Cloud FAQ.

About CoSign

What is CoSign?

CoSign is a digital signature solution that takes a better approach. By embedding the standard signature technology directly into mainstream business applications, CoSign makes it easy to digitally sign transactions, documents and records. CoSign embeds a signature record that travels with the document for every signature it captures. It allows anyone to seamlessly verify and retain proof of identity, intent, and document integrity without costly, complicated or proprietary software. CoSign makes it easy to sign, verify and retain digital records, because the digital signature standard is already built into applications like Microsoft Word, Excel, SharePoint, Outlook, Adobe Reader, Acrobat, AutoCAD, Bentley MicroStation, IBM Lotus, Oracle UCM, and Lawson M3, among others. Watch any of short video demos to see how easy it is to sign with CoSign. Thus, CoSign users simply sign with one click of the mouse using familiar applications. Furthermore, users and third parties can verify the record with off-the-shelf applications from most major software vendors. This speeds adoption and the scaling of business processes that include digital signing as a routine practice. CoSign, based on PKI technology, guarantees signer authenticity, data integrity, and non-repudiation of documents and transactions. ARX’s patented technologies have changed the entire behavior of the PKI environment with the advent of CoSign – a PKI-based digital-signature solution that is not only simple-to-use and easy to manage but also cost-effective.

How does CoSign compare with other Digital and Electronic Signature products?

The following are some of the features that set CoSign apart:
  • Simple-to-use and easy-to-deploy.
  • Reliable digital signature – the signature ensures document integrity and guarantees the identity of the signer.
  • Centralized solution – Private Keys are generated and stored in a central, secure tamper-proof appliance, eliminating the traditional need for hardware tokens (e.g., Smart Cards, USB Tokens, etc.).
  • CoSign supports numerous applications: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Adobe Acrobat, TIFF, and many more.
  • All required components in one box - Built-in CA for issuing and renewing certificates, user management, and more.
  • User Management support - Use CoSign in sync with major User Management Directories such as Microsoft Active Directory and LDAP-based Directories, or use the built-in management tool for managing users.
  • Graphical signature - Users may add a graphical representation of their signature using an electronic signature pad, providing a visual indication that users are accustomed to, as well as an assured method of sealing documents.
  • Standardized signature method – CoSign uses industry standard electronic signatures based on "Public Key Infrastructure" (PKI) technology for signing and validating signatures. Using these standards enables receiving parties to validate signatures without any additional software installation required.

How does a user validate CoSign’s digital signature?

Simply right-click on the signature and choose the “Validate” option. Validating the digital signature enables the recipient to authenticate the identity of the signer and view the reason, date and time of the signature. Validation guarantees the signed document was not tampered with and/or modified, ensuring the signer was a valid employee, for example, at the time of signing the document. CoSign allows receiving parties to validate signatures without requiring software installation. In some cases third parties will need to download your certificate from CoSign Nation in order to verify your digital signature. Note: Validating a signature varies slightly according to the application and its version.

What applications and document types does CoSign support?

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Livecycle
  • Adobe Reader
  • AutoDesk AutoCAD 200 (and higher)
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • Corel WordPerfect
  • Crystal Reports
  • IBM Lotus Forms
  • Lotus Notes
  • Any application that uses MS CAPI, PKCS#11, or JCA for Signing
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Windows Mail
  • Microsoft InfoPath
  • Microsoft Biz Talk
  • TIFF
  • Web applications
  • XML documents
  • Any application that can print (via OmniSign)
* Signing with Adobe Reader is enabled using Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions ES.

Which User Management Systems (Directory Services) does CoSign support?

CoSign supports the following User Management Systems:
  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • Oracle Internet Directory (OID)
  • IBM Tivoli
  • LDAP-based Directories
  • Directory Independent Installation
  • Sun Directory Services

In which languages is CoSign Client available?

CoSign Client is offered in the following languages:
  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Portuguese
  • Dutch
  • Japanese

Is CoSign a hardware or software solution?

CoSign is a product line. The product line includes software, hardware, APIs, and cloud solutions, CoSign Cloud and CoSign Web App. Customers choose different parts of the product line to create a configuration to best meet their needs. CoSign is also a client-server system: to sign a document a client and a server are used. The cryptographic parts of the signing process are handled by the server. CoSign clients support signing PDF, Word, Excel and many other file types. CoSign connector clients are also available to tightly integrate CoSign with many software applications including SharePoint, K2, Nintex Workflow, OpenText, Oracle WCC, Alfresco and many more. CoSign Central servers are available as hardware appliances for your network, or you can use CoSign Cloud as your signing service. CoSign APIs enable you or other developers to add CoSign digital signatures to any software application. CoSign APIs communicate with the signing server, a CoSign Central appliance or CoSign Cloud.  

How do I sign a digital signature on Word documents?

All it takes is a single click to digitally sign Word documents with CoSign. Watch a short demo to see how easy it is.

Business Case

What are the main benefits to companies implementing CoSign digital signatures?

Seals documents - provides evidence of user authenticity and guarantees data integrity and non-repudiation of the transaction. CoSign enables users in the organization to easily protect and monitor their documents and transactions. Automates Business Processes - Eliminates the inefficiencies and significant costs of printing, handling, mailing, scanning and archiving paper documents. CoSign allows organizations to conclude transactions electronically, cut down on paper-based processes, and save costs. Organizations can boost employee productivity and increase customer satisfaction. Simple-to-Use and Quick ROI – CoSign is an “all in one”, simple to install and manage PKI-based digital signature appliance that ensures immediate ROI. CoSign easily integrates within the organization's user management system, eliminating any additional hardware costs. Legal Compliance - CoSign protects businesses in courts of law and will not be questioned for compliance. CoSign digital signatures carry legal significance, allowing organizations to comply with regulations worldwide such as: 21 CFR Part 11, HIPAA, ESIGN (Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act), EU Directive and VAT Directive.

How much money can CoSign save my organization?

The CoSign digital signature solution is available in two offerings – the server-based CoSign Central solution, which is suitable for medium to very large deployments and the SaaS-based CoSign Cloud, which is designed for a small number of signers. The price of CoSign Central combines a fixed cost for the server, user licenses (one-time fee), and annual maintenance. The total cost for a typical medium-sized company can be under $100 (US) per user. The price of CoSign Cloud solution depends on your choice of package, with the monthly package starting at $15/month/user with no setup fees. To calculate your CoSign ROI, Download the ROI calculator spreadsheet. You can find more information on the ROI for digital signatures in general and for CoSign in particular on the ROI page.


How does CoSign compare with traditional PKI solutions?

Traditional PKI-based solutions are some of the most expensive and difficult solutions to deploy. With so many components in a PKI environment - the Certificate Authority (CA), the key-storage device (hardware or software), the management application and the signing applications (workflow, ERP, mail, or any other application) - integration is a complex, long and prohibitive process. ARX's vision is to make PKI affordable and easy-to-use for all companies, large and small. ARX, with its patented technologies, has changed the PKI environment by designing CoSign, a simple-to-use and cost-effective digital signature solution. CoSign is quick to deploy and offers ALL the components of a digital-signature solution. CoSign solves complex deployment problems and dramatically reduces the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of deploying digital signatures. For those organizations with a higher number of signers, CoSign Central enables new users to automatically enroll in the PKI system (i.e., it creates the keys, issues certificates and renews them), ensuring the system is always simple and easy-to-use. Organizations have the option to manage their users either inside CoSign or through MS Active Directory and Novel eDirectory.

How does CoSign integrate with existing solutions such as Document Management (DM) and Content Management Systems (ECM)?

CoSign seamlessly connects to SharePoint, OpenText, OracleAlfresco and other DM/ECM systems.


Does CoSign comply with digital signature regulations?

For many organizations, it is critical to protect their data at all times with PKI-based methods that meet the toughest regulations. CoSign complies with the most stringent regulations recognized worldwide, allowing organizations to take advantage of this built-in capability and meet these regulations. CoSign adheres to the digital signature and data-integrity requirements of the following regulations and standards: Read more about CoSign digital signatures legal compliance.

Is CoSign a Secure Signature Creation Device (SSCD)/ Qualified Signature Creation Device (QSCD)?

CoSign has received Common Criteria EAL4+ certification as a Remote Signing SSCD. The certification process was performed under the supervision of OCSI, the Italian information security certification organization. The certification approval can be found on the OCSI web site. CoSign is the only hardware-based remote signing solution that has Common Criteria certification, and can also support a large number of users so that each one has sole control over the use of their personal signing key. In addition, CoSign is qualified per level 2 of the TS 419241 standard, which defines the requirements for trustworthy, server-signing systems that can generate user based qualified signatures. Similarly, CoSign also addresses all the requirements detailed in the new EU eIDAS regulation, specifically in Annex II which defines the term QSCD (Qualified Signature Creation Device) as a replacement for the SSCD terminology and implicitly permits using a remote signing solution for generating qualified signatures.

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