Equifax has introduced a range of next-generation e-commerce solutions that revolutionize individual identification, privacy and security over the Internet. The new services, offered through Equifax Secure E-Commerce Solutions, enable companies to authenticate consumer identity, secure applications and manage digital certificates. Equifax also announced the opening of its highly secure operations facility to support these new e-commerce offerings.
Equifax is the first in the industry to offer a comprehensive, outsourced security solution that integrates advanced authentication, digital certificate management and scalable directory services to help enterprises significantly reduce the risk, cost and complexity of assuring electronic transaction security, privacy and integrity over the Internet and other networks.
The outsourced e-commerce solution from Equifax enables enterprises to:
Significantly reduce costs and time to market.
Authenticate individuals beyond standard “wallet” information using Equifax’s patent-pending remote authentication technology.
Issue and manage large volumes of customer-branded certificates.
“Equifax has been actively helping its clients conduct commerce for nearly 100 years,” said Jeff Johnson, Equifax senior vice president and general manager of Equifax Secure, Inc. “As we move toward the millennium, our clients will be doing more and more business over the Internet and other private networks. We are now in a position to help them meet the challenges of doing business safely over the Internet.”
According to Privacy and American Business, nearly half of the consumers who use personal computers do not access the Internet, saying that ensuring the privacy and security of personal data and on-line transactions would influence them to start using the Internet. According to Computer Security Institute, more than $130 million has been lost in 1998 from unauthorized insider access, theft of proprietary information, telecommunications and financial fraud, and other security breaches over public and private networks.
“Without secure identification, promises of privacy by companies on the Net simply lack credibility,” said Alan Westin, a professor at Columbia University and one of the nation’s leading privacy experts. “Equifax Secure will enable its clients to offer Net users a meaningful privacy channel for conducting e-commerce.”
More specifically, Equifax Secure E-Commerce Solutions provides:
A remote authentication service that establishes a new standard for authenticating network users by requesting, comparing and analyzing information furnished by the individual against data from Equifax and other consumer and business information sources. This allows us to establish whether the applicant is who they claim to be. The engine offers several levels of authentication to establish proof of identity.
The engine can accept data on consumers either in real-time through a web interface, or in batch mode, for off-line analysis; Certificate management services to manage certificate lifecycles, including issuance, renewal and revocation based on a web model that obviates the need for dedicated client software; and Directory services to access hosted repositories of certificates, privilege data and certificate revocation lists (CRLSs). Equifax uses an LDAP-compliant X.500 directory that fully conforms to international X.500 standards for electronic directories.
Equifax Secure e-commerce solutions are designed to support multiple applications, including, but not limited to: Consumer Direct: Bill Presentment and Payment and Online Customer Service; Home Banking; and Medical Records Access Control; Intra-Enterprise: Single Sign-On, Employee Benefits Management and Secure Document Exchange; and Business to Business: Purchasing, Procurement and Supply Chain integration. The service is available for companies across a range of industries, including banking/financial services, healthcare, insurance, telecommunications, utilities, consulting and information technology.
“As more and more organizations extend the reach of their business applications to suppliers, customers and business partners, it’s imperative to assure the integrity — privacy and security — of the applications and associated data,” Johnson said. “With this e-commerce solution, companies can authenticate individuals, secure business applications, reduce fraud and accelerate use and acceptance of the Internet and other networks for e-commerce.”
Supporting Technology, Facilities
Equifax Secure is supported by public key encryption technology, Equifax’s patent-pending remote authentication engine and IBM’s Vault Registry(TM) technology:
Public Key Infrastructure is the accepted method for addressing concern for security and privacy systems and data. PKI consists of a Certificate Authority (CA) that issues digital credentials (digital certificates), a Registration Authority (RA) that approves the issuance of these certificates, and a Directory where certificate information is stored.
IBM Vault Registry technology uses encryption and certificate-based authentication for its own security and provides a hardened systems operating environment with high system availability, integrated system monitoring, and strong auditing and reporting capabilities. A flexible registration application enables organizations to register users for its services and administer the issued certificates over their life cycle. The application permits organizations to easily customize the registration pages and the policies associated with the registration process to their unique business environment.
Equifax Secure E-Commerce Solutions is supported by a new high-security operations facility that includes the latest in physical and network security features.
Equifax is a worldwide leader in shaping global commerce by bringing buyers and sellers together through its information, transaction processing, consulting and knowledge-based businesses. Equifax serves the banking, financial, retail, credit card, transportation, telecommunications/utilities and healthcare industries and government. Founded in 1899, Atlanta-based Equifax today has 14,000 employees in 18 countries and sales in more than 45 countries. Revenues for the 12 months ended September 30, 1998, were more than $1.5 billion. For more Equifax information, visit the company’s Internet web site at [www.equifax.com].