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Citi Boosts Treasury Biz by Joining CertiPath Credentialing Program

Citi (New York) has become the first bank to cross-certify with the CertiPath information-sharing bridge. This allows the bank to deliver identity credentialing services to companies that wish to do business with the aerospace and defense (A&D) industry. The program is being offered through Citi's Global Transaction Services.

CertiPath is the identity management and information sharing authority for the A&D sector. It was established to address the problems of partners and customers to electronically share critical information with a degree of trust, confidence and security. CertiPath credentials are based on global, uniform requirements for medium- and high-assurance certification for identity management.

According to Gary Greenwald, chief innovation officer with Citi Global Transaction Services, Citi already does a significant amount of work with the federal government and the public sector in general. "Pursuing the CertiPath certification was a logical expansion for Citi Managed Identity Services since CertiPath already serves our largest clients in the defense sector, as well as their supply chain," Greenwald told BS&T. "In addition, they have ties to the federal government, which is another large Citi client, so it is a natural extension to our Managed Identity business."

Citi's Managed Identity Services enables its clients to use digital identities and certificates to transact digital commerce securely. The certificates can authenticate end users to applications, encrypt and lock down data, and replace "wet ink" with digital signatures without compromising legal enforceability, claims the bank. Citi currently provides these services to corporates for performing financial and pharmaceutical transactions. With the introduction of CertiPath, its clients can now expand their dealings to those companies in the A&D industry and U.S. federal agencies already on the CertiPath Bridge.

According to the bank, it invested in extensive policy, procedure and infrastructure development to become a CertiPath Certified Credential Provider. These are military-grade credentials that will allow Citi's clients to perform business with the government in a more streamlined, electronic manner. Citi also says it will help corporates reduce cost and risk by eliminating the need for them to create their own certified credentials.

Citi's timing in gaining this certification could not have been better, given the added pressure on public companies to secure their infrastructures. "Citi recognizes that for public sector organizations, these are challenging times. With the increased pressure to secure the national infrastructure, combined with the increased costs of cyber security, identity management has become one of the most critical business problems in recent years for organizations to tackle in an efficient and cost-effective manner," says Greenwald.

Although companies in this sector recognize the cost savings associated with doing business electronically, he says identity assurance had always been a sticking point, since organizations in the A&D industry and federal government handle transactions of a very sensitive nature that require signatures and approvals. To Greenwald, providing services around digital credentials and identity assurance are a natural for an institution like Citi.

"Citi's approach to the identity problem is unique in the marketplace," he explains. "As a regulated financial entity, Citi is already experienced in performing and managing the process of vetting both corporates and individuals. Citi is accustomed to the development of solutions that are highly secure, highly scalable, and global in scope, yet with a strong understanding of local and regional audit and compliance dynamics, and more importantly, solutions that support seamless end-to-end integration of business processes."

Other organizations in the CertiPath program include Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, EADS, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.

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