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Italy's Banks To Implement PKI

Four of Italy's major banks introduce the Identrus PKI service.

In one of the largest public-key infrastructure implementations to date, four of Italy's major banks have introduced the Identrus PKI service. The banks are San Paolo IMI, Intesa-BCI, Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena and Banca di Roma.

All are members of Gruppo Utenti Identrus Italia (GUII), an organization of seven Italian banks that joined the Identrus network.

Additional banks have already committed to launch the service during 2003 and 2004.

Actalis, a provider of security and PKI services for the banking sector, has chosen Baltimore Technologies' UniCERT PKI platform in order to secure interbank B2B transactions in compliance with Identrus requirements.

UniCERT is an Identrus-compliant security solution, tested and optimized to meet the requirements of the Identrus system. Actalis will use UniCERT to implement the security components required for banks to be part of the Identrus framework.

"This is the world's single largest Identrus implementation," said Paolo Soru, CEO of Actalis, adding that Baltimore was selected as the e-security vendor because its PKI platform operates effectively within the Identrus framework and provides highly scalable security technology for B2B transactions.

Identrus is a bank-owned global trust system that allows businesses to mitigate B2B e-commerce risks through a trusted relationship with their financial institution. From its inception, Identrus chose PKI as the security mechanism to underpin this trust system. The Identrus root certification authority is based on Baltimore's UniCERT technology.

"The combination of Actalis and Baltimore provides a solid foundation for a systemic implementation of the Identrus trust network in Italy which will, in turn, deliver value and crucial operational risk management support for the banks and their customers," according to Andrew McLauchlan, executive chairman for Identrus.

UniCERT enables Actalis to deliver the Identrus trust service to identify and verify the authenticity of electronic trading partners. It ensures the integrity of information as well as nonrepudiation of electronic transactions by delivering a complete infrastructure for the creation and management of digital certificate-based identities and signatures.

By embracing PKI at an early stage, the Italian banking sector will be able to derive benefits from PKI-based e-business enablement, according to Bijan Khezri, CEO of Ireland-based Baltimore Technologies.

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