BITS Opens New Financial Services Security Lab

BITS, the technology group for the Financial Services Roundtable, officially opened the BITS Financial Services Security Laboratory (FSSL) in Reston, Virginia. Senior executives from the financial services and technology industries, along with government officials, attended the grand opening at the headquarters of the Global Integrity Corporation, a subsidiary of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

The FSSL will enable financial services companies and technology providers to work cooperatively to maintain the highest security standards for electronic banking and commerce. The major objectives of the BITS Security Laboratory, operated and hosted by Global Integrity, are early product influence, risk reduction, cost reduction and security functionality.

"The new BITS Financial Services Security Lab is a bold and important step to ensure comprehensive security in electronic banking and commerce," said Robert W. Gillespie, Chairman and CEO, Key Corp., and Chairman of the Financial Service Roundtable. "As more bank customers are choosing online financial transactions, security issues are becoming more prominent," he continues, adding, "The BITS Laboratory has been 'in the works' for almost two years and is the financial services industry's latest initiative to ensure that safety standards for electronic commerce and banking continue to be strengthened as new technologies are developed and the volume of digital commerce keeps growing."

Scott McNealy, Chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems Inc. said, "Sun strongly supports testing against open standards. The BITS lab process will provide for cooperation among vendors and banks while protecting what each considers to be the proprietary aspects of their technology."

Mike Dushce, Product Manager for Smart Card for Windows at Microsoft Corporation, says, "Microsoft supports the BITS Security Lab because we are committed to developing, testing and applying technology that further strengthens the safety and security of the electronic banking experience for consumers."

Catherine Allen, CEO of BITS, explains, "The BITS Security Lab will test security features and capabilities of products in both standalone and distributed environments for select PC operating environments, browsers, servers and applications software used for PC banking; anti-virus software, firewalls; and end-to-end security systems." She adds, "Products will be tested for their ability to meet specific criteria pertaining to security attributes such as authentication, integrity, confidentiality, privacy, auditability and authorization."