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Schwab Announces Complete Account Fraud Coverage, and more

Schwab Stand Behind Customers With Fraud Guarantee, Fidelity National Announces Source Code Escrow Service, Corillian and StrikeForce Partner for Authentication Solutions, ActivIdentity Introduces New CEO

Schwab Offers Fraud Loss Guarantee

The Charles Schwab Corp. is now offering a security guarantee covering all account losses that arise from unauthorized account activity. The guarantee is effective immediately and covers clients of the entire Schwab family of companies.

"It has always been our practice to make clients whole in cases of unauthorized account activity. Our new security guarantee turns that historic practice into a public promise," said Charles Schwab, founder and CEO, in a release. "Given rising public concerns over identity theft and cyber-fraud, we think adding a clear and simple guarantee will contribute to even greater peace of mind for our clients." Schwab is also actively encouraging clients and consumers to review educational information on privacy and security to secure their transactions, whether online or through more traditional channels, at Schwab or elsewhere, says the company. Schwab has made educational materials available, highlighting steps people can take to make their online activities more secure, as well as information on Schwab's own security practices on their Web site.

Fidelity National Offers Source Code Escrow Service

Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) introduced a new source code escrow service designed to assist FIS’ financial institution clients with regulatory compliance.

As part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, organizations must establish a plan of action in the event a software vendor fails and discontinues the support and maintenance of its systems. By subscribing to FIS’s new source code escrow service, institutions are assured that the source code for the software they license would be available in the event FIS was unable to conduct its normal and ordinary course of business.

"As regulators direct financial institutions to conduct vendor risk due diligence analysis and make preparations for potential vendor failures and subsequent discontinuation of software support, we want to ensure this is an easy process for our clients. The new escrow service provides one-stop shopping for source escrow for licensed customers in one account for the bulk of the Integrated Financial Solutions division’s critical applications," said Lenny Smith, director of operations for the Integrated Financial Solutions division of FIS, in a release.

To offer the service, FIS has entered into an agreement with Iron Mountain, which will serve as a neutral, third-party provider of intellectual property management services. Iron Mountain, a provider of technology escrow services, maintains current source code for an array of FIS’ software products. The code is stored in steel and concrete vaults, protected by state-of-the-art fire extinguishing and security systems, and kept at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 percent humidity. Each time FIS releases new versions of its software, the source code is also provided to Iron Mountain so the source code repository is maintained and updated.

Corillian and StrikeForce Combine Authentication Technologies

Corillian Corp. and StrikeForce Technologies announced a joint offering to help financial institutions proactively prevent identity theft and fraud, strengthen online banking authentication and comply with FFIEC guidance.

Corillian and StrikeForce will protect financial institutions’ online users with an authentication service combining Corillian’s Intelligent Authentication with StrikeForce’s "Out-of-Band" authentication platform, ProtectID. The joint offering helps to proactively detect fraudulent online activity and prevent illegitimate users from accessing accounts.

Intelligent Authentication employs a behavioral approach to authentication by building a history of "access signatures" for individual users. This is accomplished by collecting and validating information about each user's computer and method of Web site access without collecting personally identifiable information or requiring participation of the end user in the data collection process.

StrikeForce’s patent-pending ProtectID is an "Out-of-Band" identity authentication solution that creates a separate pathway for users to enter a PIN over the telephone that takes seconds to authenticate the identity of the online customer. Biometric devices or other authentication methods such as one-time passwords can be added or substituted for versatility and layers of security.

"Online banking is undergoing a permanent shift that requires secure and user-friendly technology, affordable prices and rapid deployment," said Mark Kay, CEO of StrikeForce Technologies, in a release. "The FFIEC guidelines present a marked adjustment for the online user and the financial institutions that offer very flexible and streamlined solutions will attract and retain these online customers."

ActivIdentity Appoints Hart CEO

Identity assurance solution provider ActivIdentity named Jason Hart chief executive officer. Hart, a member of the company’s board of directors, a major shareholder, and senior vice president of sales and marketing, assumes leadership of ActivIdentity from Ben Barnes.

"We thank Ben for his dedication and hard work during his tenure," said Dr. Richard Kashnow, chairman of the board, in a release. "His leadership of the acquisition and integration of Protocom has strengthened the company and helped to enable a smooth internal succession."

Hart joined ActivIdentity in August 2005 through the acquisition of Protocom, an enterprise single sign-on technology provider.

ActivIdentity also announced the board’s appointment of Thomas Jahn as chief operating officer. Jahn was formerly the company’s chief restructuring and integration officer.

"I am excited to be taking the helm of ActivIdentity at this point of market growth and corporate opportunity," said Hart, in a statement. "Our history, product and patent portfolio, and industry expertise in serving a global customer base make ActivIdentity well suited to exploit the growing digital identity markets."

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