Institutions and intermediaries are building infrastructures to provide new electronic financial transaction capabilities for consumers, corporations and government entities. As the volume of electronic financial transactions continues to grow, advanced security technology using digital signatures and authority systems can become part of the financial transaction process. Financial transaction systems incorporating advanced security technology have requirements to ensure the privacy, authenticity and integrity of financial transactions conducted over communications networks.
The financial services industry relies on several time-honoured methods of electronically identifying, authorizing and authenticating entities and protecting financial transactions. These methods include, but are not limited to, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and Message Authentication Codes (MACs) for retail and wholesale financial transactions, user IDs and passwords for network and computer access, and key management for network connectivity. Over the last twenty years the financial services industry has developed risk management processes and policies to support the use of these technologies in financial applications.
The expanded use of Internet technologies by the financial services industry and the needs of the industry in general to provide safe, private and reliable financial transaction and computing systems have given rise to advanced security technology incorporating public key cryptography. Public key cryptography requires a business-optimized infrastructure of technology, management and policy (a public key infrastructure or PKI, as defined in this document) to satisfy requirements of electronic identification, authentication, message integrity protection and authorization in financial application systems. The use of standard practices for electronic identification, authentication and authorization in a PKI ensures more consistent and predictable security in these systems and confidence in electronic communications. Confidence (e.g. trust) can be achieved when compliance to standard practices can be ascertained.
Applications serving the financial services industry can be developed with digital signature and PKI capabilities. The safety and the soundness of these applications are based, in part, on implementations and practices designed to ensure the overall integrity of the infrastructure. Users of authority-based systems that electronically bind the identity of individuals and other entities to cryptographic materials (e.g. cryptographic keys) benefit from standard risk management systems and the base of auditable practices defined in this International Standard.

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