Using public-key infrastructure (PKI) technology provided by Entrust Technologies, the Bank of Bermuda recently initiated the launch of its Secure Clients Access service to offer international customers trusted online banking.
As a result of its agreement with Entrust, the Bank can now not only offer digital signatures and e-mail encryption for file transfers, according to the company, but they can also now provide authentication and encryption for online access to and management of portfolios.
“By introducing and implementing the Entrust-based solution, the Bank has positioned itself extremely well for enhancing its international e-commerce products offering,” commented Gavin Grounds, assistant vice-president of global internetworking for the Bank of Bermuda.
Joining the Equant Network
With the bank’s previous services, customers could access their portfolios, transfer funds or process credit card transactions electronically by way of a global private corporate network built around Cisco’s secure PIX Firewall technology. This, however, might have discouraged some international business because customers could only dial into the bank’s offices.
The addition of Entrust’s PKI solutions, however, has assisted the bank to make its services available through the Equant network, “which extends to key business centers in over 220 countries and territories” said the company. Equant is a provider of end-to-end managed data network services for international businesses, offering global dial, PPP dial, X.28, and remote LAN access Services.
“We needed to be able to provide online access for our clients anywhere in the world to their portfolios electronically and be confident it was secure and encrypted,” said Grounds. “We also needed the ability to encrypt and digitally sign messages, files and file attachments.”
About the Bank of Bermuda
The Bank of Bermuda now authenticates customers using a cash management, client-server software application, and an encrypted connection over a virtual private network. According to a company representative, the bank will initially target internal clients, through departments dealing with corporate trusts, portfolio management and human resources.
Moving to external clients, the company hopes to become “the world’s first international bank to build and operate its own private certificate authority for internal and external communications.”
The Bank of Bermuda, established in 1889, has now become one of a few international financial institutions to operate as an independent Certificate Authority (CA), offering digital certificates to its customers. The bank is capitalizing on legislation passed earlier this year by the Government of Bermuda to promote e-commerce.
Originally a division of Nortel Networks in Ottawa, Canada, Entrust spun off as a separate international provider of electronic security solutions in December of 1996. Currently, the Plano, Texas-based company has three lines products, including core PKI, toolkits and desktop solutions.
According to Entrust spokesperson Carrie Bendzsa, the company “offers transparent, managed security software which makes it easy for organizations and individuals to benefit from security without the need to know its intricacies — a trusted source of secure e-business tools.”