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Judith Vanderkay

PKI Forum Publishes Paper Endorsing Existing Standards for Certification Authority Trust

WAKEFIELD, Mass., August 8, 2001 - The PKI Forum, Inc., a multi-vendor and end-user industry consortium focused on accelerating the adoption of public-key infrastructure (PKI) technologies (see, today announced its endorsement of two new industry standards: ANS X9.79 PKI Practices and Policy Framework and the WebTrustSM/TM Program for Certification Authorities.

The endorsement was made in the latest in a series of PKI Notes published by the PKI Forum, under the activities of the Best Practices Working Group. The Note supplies a brief overview and background of the two standards: ANS X9.79 PKI Practices and Policy Framework, developed by the X9 Accredited Standards Committee; and WebTrust Program for Certification Authorities, developed jointly by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

"The Best Practices Working Group mission is to define and promote a practical framework of internationally recognized standards, policies and procedures for the successful implementation and operation of PKI enabled solutions," said PKI Forum president Lisa Pretty. "The group initiated a review of existing material several months ago and felt both the X9.79 and WebTrust work completed by the other organizations represented exactly what was needed in this space -- instead of duplicating efforts, the PKI Forum is formally endorsing the standards already available."

"The technical and somewhat tutorial nature of X9 standards makes them extremely valuable to vendors and end-users for implementing PKI systems.  Adding auditable criteria has enhanced the standard and made it very useful for compliance measurement. Both the AICPA and the financial services industry benefit from such efforts and should collaborate whenever it is appropriate," said Dick Sweeney, Chairman of X9F, the Data and Information Security standards development group of ASC - X9.

"The WebTrust program is significant because it harmonizes the X9.79 PKI standards used by certification authorities (CAs) with the rigorous, auditable principles and criteria developed by the accounting profession for CAs," said Anthony Pugliese, vice president of member innovation at the AICPA.

"I believe that the WebTrust program for Certification Authorities clearly establishes, in the marketplace, a benchmark for reliability in providing public key technology services. These services are vital to the growth of secure e-commerce," said Cairine Wilson, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants- vice president of innovation.

The new PKI Note, titled CA Trust, is available on the PKI Forum Web site at

About the X9 Accredited Standards Committee
The ASC X9-s mission is to develop, establish, publish, maintain and promote standards for the financial services industry in order to facilitate delivery of financial products and services, such as the American National Standard X9.79. For additional information, please see

About the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the ISO 9001 certified national professional organization of CPAs in the United States, with more than 340,000 members in public practice, business and industry, government and education. For more information about WebTrust, please visit

About the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)
The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, together with the provincial and territorial institutes of chartered accountants, represents a membership of more than 66,000 CAs and 8,500 students in Canada and Bermuda. The CICA conducts research into current business issues and sets accounting and assurance standards for business, not-for-profit organizations and government. It issues guidance on control and governance, publishes professional literature, develops continuing education programs and represents the CA profession nationally and internationally.

About the PKI Forum, Inc.
The PKI Forum is an international, not-for-profit alliance comprised of technology and service providers, integrators and end-users whose purpose is to accelerate the adoption and use of PKI and facilitate interoperability through multi-vendor testing of industry standards and educational outreach. The PKI Forum advocates industry cooperation and market awareness to enable organizations to understand and exploit the value of PKI in their e-business applications. Although PKI Forum meetings are intended for members only, organizations interested in becoming members may attend one meeting for a nominal meeting fee. The next members- meeting will be held in Toronto, September 18-20. For more information about the PKI Forum, see the PKI Forum Web site at

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