Kasten Chase promotes e-documents

Trevor Bain, senior vice-president, secure e-document delivery for Kasten Chase, encourages financial institutions to take advantage of the “opportunity to shift the paradigm for sharing sensitive, confidential or personal information from consumer-initiated, information retrieval to real-time information delivery based on e-mail.”

Speaking at the third annual Innovative IT Strategies for Financial Services conference in Toronto on Nov. 18, Bain claimed that account balances, bills and invoices, and other financial transactions can all be securely driven through e-mail. Although Canadian consumers are “ready and willing” to communicate electronically with their financial institutions, the challenge for financial institutions and online banking is to boost online participation. Enterprises are still antsy over e-document delivery and prefer to direct customers to the Web site – security is still a primary concern, he admitted.

The issue at hand is ensuring the electronic delivery is secure since “e-mail is analogous to a postcard not a letter,” Bain said.

Emerging technologies such as password protection, authentication, digital encryption and tracking are making secure document delivery a reality.

Privacy is also an issue, which is “typically the paramount concern of recipients when confidential information is communicated,” Bain said.

It’s not enough to secure data in transit, he continued. Particularly when e-mail storage is under control of others, data needs to be secured at rest.

“A secure e-document delivery system must provide assurance that the originating data has not been altered. A system must ensure that the parties of a transaction cannot refute or deny their participation in the transaction,” Bain said.

It should also be simple to use across multiple e-mail clients, operating systems and platforms, Bain said. An embedded URL inside the e-mail would connect the client to a secure Web site for additional transactions, he added.

“At minimum, a real-time, secure push delivery solution provides a strong complement to an enterprise’s Web presence, by pre-authenticating a document recipient to a Web site to initiate a new transaction,” Bain said.

In related news, the Mississauga, Ont.-based firm data security provider claims their Assurency Secure Networked Storage is the first storage area network (SAN) solution to introduce certificate-based authentication for a wide variety of storage network devices. The new security architecture designed for networked storage became available in October.

“Our architecture makes certificate-based authentication integral to the SAN fabric,” said Hari Venkatacharya, senior vice-president, Secure Networked Storage for Kasten Chase in Toronto.

“Over time, our Assurency solution will allow for robust authentication of a wide variety of third-party storage products attaching to the SAN fabric, and will mean increased levels of trust for the storage environment and for organizations’ sensitive data,” he added.

The architecture features what the company calls programmable ‘Agent’ software designed for incorporation by third-party vendors into their storage networking products.

The Agent exchanges digital certificates with the Assurency Secure Networked Storage Appliance to effectively authenticate third-party products as they attach to the SAN fabric, Venkatacharya said, adding the solution offers SAN security without the cost, complexities and management overhead of a public key infrastructure (PKI) solution.

Traditional PKI only authenticates users, not devices in the SAN environment, which is crucial to ensure the established communication links are not “spoofed,” he said.