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Judith Vanderkay

PKI Forum Marks 2nd Anniversary with Annual Member Meeting, Public Seminar On 'PKI Today: Issues and Applications-

Forum Fostered Increased Market Awareness in 2001 through Working Group Deliverables and Enrollment of End-User Members

WAKEFIELD, Mass., USA, March 5, 2002 -- The PKI Forum, Inc., a multi-vendor and end-user industry consortium created to accelerate the adoption of public-key infrastructure (PKI) technologies, (, will mark the conclusion of its second successful year with its annual member meeting, to be held March 12-14 in Toronto, Canada. During the challenging year 2001, the PKI Forum made steady progress on its mission, publishing a number of papers and broadening its membership significantly in the end-user category.

As part of the Forum-s public outreach, a seminar open to all, "PKI Today: Issues and Applications," will take place in conjunction with the first day of the members meeting. The March 12 event for members and non-members will include presentations of case studies from end users, interoperability discussions with global representatives, and a session on PKI return on investment (ROI). Non-member registration fee is $295.00US/$453.00CA; there is no charge for members. For more information or to register, visit the Forum-s Web site at

The PKI Forum annual meeting agenda will feature the installation of new officers and election of the Board of Directors; the presentation of a program plan for the year 2002 highlighting PKI deployment; and breakout sessions for the organization-s working groups. There will also be a review of the previous year-s activities, which ranged from presentations at public conferences and well-attended member meetings in San Jose, Munich and Singapore, to delivery of six focused publications created by the organization-s working groups. A number of significant deliverables were attained by the PKI Forum during 2001, and are posted on the Forum-s Web site, They include:

  • The Technology Working Group-s "PKI Interoperability Framework," which presents a common framework that can be used when discussing interoperability issues between vendors.
  • The "PKI Policy White Paper" from the PKI Forum-s Business Working Group, which provides general information about PKI policy, the role that policy plays in deploying PKI systems and how that policy is applied to both traditional and PKI-enabled business environments.
  • The Technology Working Group-s "CA-CA Interoperability" paper, addressing the issues associated with establishing interoperability between otherwise isolated PKI domains, and also covers interoperability concerns between certification authorities (CAs) within the same domain or under a common corporate infrastructure.
  • "U.S. Healthcare," produced by the Business Working Group, documenting the essential need for a secure IT infrastructure in healthcare that would increase efficiency of service without compromising patient privacy.
  • The Biometrics paper, created by the Business Working Group, which describes how two diverse technologies, PKI and biometrics, combine to produce a stronger security alternative for e-business applications.
  • The Best Practices Working Group overview and background of 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.

Notably, in a generally difficult economic climate, the PKI Forum enhanced its end-user ranks with the addition of new members, including government agencies such as the Government of Canada PKI Secretariat, United Kingdom Communications Electronics Security Group, Korea Information Security Agency, the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Department of Defense PKI division; industry leaders in healthcare products and pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson and Merck; Canadian financial services firms e-Scotia and Canadian Payments Association; and a global technology, manufacturing and services company, TRW. The new members are evidence of the PKI Forum-s commitment to end-user participation in the organization-s operations.

"It would be understatement to call 2001 a challenging year for the PKI Forum, as it was for the economy as a whole," said Lisa Pretty, President of the PKI Forum. "Assessing our accomplishments, however, I-m pleased to state that we continued to deliver on our mission to increase market awareness of the benefits of public-key infrastructure."

"I-m especially gratified that we successfully reached out to the end user community, as end user participation is absolutely essential to the widespread adoption of PKI technologies," Pretty said. "We have a strong infrastructure in place. I am looking forward to the opportunities of 2002, as we continue to reach out to industry leaders for whom security issues are paramount."

About Public-Key Infrastructure
A public-key infrastructure (PKI) is a combination of hardware, software, policies and procedures. It provides the basic security required to carry out electronic business so that users who do not know each other, or are widely distributed, can communicate securely using a chain of trust. End users of PKI cross industry lines and include anyone from the small office/home office client to large corporations, and from complex businesses to specific verticals.

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. For more information about the PKI Forum, see the PKI Forum Web site at




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