AICPA Forms Panel to Improve Trust on Internet

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is helping to put together a panel of industry experts to provide input to the accounting profession on how to incorporate new and improved security standards into its WebTrust program for Certification Authorities.

Anthony Pugliese, AICPA's vice president of member innovation, explains that the panel is being formed to enhance standards, particularly in the areas of authentication and identification of digital certificate issuers, so users can trust companies that do business over the Internet.

Members of the panel will be drawn from the participants in a recent summit meeting to discuss ways to improve trust on the Internet. The meeting was sponsored by the AICPA, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), and PKI Forum. The participants included representatives of the American Bankers Association, American Bar Association, American National Standards Institute, Canadian Payments Association, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury Board of Canada, AOL Netscape, Microsoft, VeriSign, and Visa International, as well as AICPA, CICA, PKI Forum and the Big Four accounting firms.

The participants agreed on the need to resolve major issues affecting the acceptance, use and comparability of digital certificates. These issues include levels of assurance assigned to certificates, required identification, authentication and authorization procedures and consistent application of standards. The group has committed to resolve these issues and will collaborate over the coming months to do just that.

For more information about this initiative, please contact Karyn Waller, senior technical manager, Trust Services, AICPA.

-Rosemary Schlank

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