Establishing Trust with Online Processes: Securing documents with Adobe Certified Document Services
© 2010 Entrust. All rights reserved.
Faster Response Times
Beyond simply saving money, organizations and their stakeholders will appreciate the benefit of
improved response times. Any time a process requires a paper format, the progression stops
while the product is printed, processed and delivered. This lag can mean stale information —
stakeholders often require instantaneous data.
For organizations, this can mean better cash flow from faster payments, improved customer
satisfaction by providing immediate service and greater customer loyalty.
An Ecological Alternative
Many companies are committed to reducing their carbon footprint. This is partially due to
pressures from consumers and government regulations, but also to be better corporate citizens.
Consider that the average invoice uses three pages of paper (including the envelope) and
multiply that by the number of invoices processed each day, month or year — the ecological
savings piles up. And that’s just invoices. Statements, confirmations, transcripts, plans and
records also contribute to the paper consumption.
In a typical year, the United States consumes 8 million tons of office paper. That’s the equivalent
of 178 million trees, which provide a source of clean oxygen.
When one considers the
environmental costs to produce that same amount of paper, 152.6 billion gallons of water is
wasted and 18.2 billion tons of solid waste is created.
Those staggering numbers, based on
research completed by the Environmental Defense Fund’s Paper Task Force, make a strong
case for moving paper processes online.
3 Establishing Trust in Electronic Documents
Adobe Systems Inc.
pioneered the idea of creating documents in a portable format that could be
read but not edited by recipients. Since that time, PDF has become a formal ISO open standard
(ISO 32000) available on multiple platforms with more than 1,800 vendors offering PDF-based
With more than 250 million PDF documents on the Web today, the format has become
the tool of choice for deploying read-only documents.
As PDF documents became popular, commercial solutions appeared on the market that allowed
altering of these read-only documents. Users began demanding greater security assurance that
their documents weren’t being seen by unauthorized users or altered after creation.
The PDF standard evolved in two ways to accommodate these needs: a username/password
feature was implemented to encrypt and decrypt the document to prevent viewing from
unauthorized recipients; and the ability for an author to add a digital signature to the document
While encryption was weak at first, updated versions featured robust encryption. Later versions of
also included digital rights management (DRM) capabilities.
"Green Procurement Requirements and the Use of 100% Post Consumer Fiber Paper
," Raymond Paulson; NADEP
North Island, Environmental Program Office, U.S. Navy; 2005.
Environmental impact estimates were made using the Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator. For more
information visit http://www.papercalculator.org
“Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF): Product Details
,” Adobe Systems, Inc.