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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In the OTA we trust

The Authentication and Online Trust Alliance, which counts leading financial institutions and global businesses among its members, shortened its name to Online Trust Alliance to reflect the organization's expanding mission of enhancing the trust, confidence and protection of online businesses and consumers worldwide.

"When we started in 2004, we were dealing with fraudulent e-mails, the lack of authentication and the impact phishing exploits were making regarding legitimate brands," said Craig Spiezle, Chairman and founder of the OTA. "Accounts were being compromised, and that was the root of the problem."

Spiezle noted that the OTA soon realized lack of authentication wasn't the only issue to address. "It also involved accreditation, reputation and supporting standards like extended validation certificates," he said. "Our mission hasn't changed. It's still about online trust; authentication is just one tactic in the arsenal of the problem that we're dealing with."

Spiezle also said the original name "didn't translate well internationally, since authentication was more of a U.S. term."

Security loves company

To help bolster trust in online transactions, the OTA is holding its 2009 Online Trust Town Hall Meeting and E-mail Authentication Roundtable at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco April 23, 2009, from 1 to 6 p.m. The meeting will address best practices, common omissions and weaknesses, and how to help financial service companies and other businesses implement effective security measures.

The roundtable will discuss e-mail authentication adoption at the corporate domain level, as well as highlight safe, strategic ways to conduct business online. Slated topics include the state of online trust, how to prevent data compromises, data governance and privacy, and the value of the free Internet. According to Spiezle, 64 percent of the businesses in the United States don't have e-mail authentication at the corporate level.

United we authenticate

"E-mail authentication is so important because spoofing and phishing are really rampant, and unfortunately, consumer perceptions about our industry are reality," Spiezle said. Thus, the OTA will host a 2.5 hour nontechnical workshop on e-mail authentication at the roundtable.

"The question we need to address is 'How do we get this implemented with 100 percent of the businesses out there?'" he added. Spiezle believes the answer is for all stakeholders to work together to strengthen overall trust in the e-commerce world.

"Data use and privacy – as well as data governance like card not present transactions or unsecured data storage – constitute the majority of identity theft and merchant card exploits," he said. "We as an industry need to act more responsibly. It's in our best interests to make these practices simpler and more concise versus having additional regulations put on us."

For more information, visit www.otalliance.org/InternetTownHall.html#Email_Authentication_Roundtable_-_Working_Meeting_-_New_Additional_Workshop or e-mail craigs@otalliance.org. end of article

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