Credit Agricole, the number one rated bank in France, has implemented a PKI and smart card-based strong authentication system to beef up access security for its employees and corporate banking customers.
The "CA Certificate" program has been developed by the bank to offer secure online banking services and provide the ability to digitally sign documents regarding financial transfers.
The project, which uses technology from ActivCard, allows a significant number of Credit Agricole's employees to authenticate themselves with the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and smart card solution as part of the bank's "e-Badge" smart card deployment.
e-Badge is used by employees for secure login to their work stations, secure remote and VPN accesses, secure access control to web applications, intranet access, and email signing with ActivCard solutions.
The smartcard/PKI project also allows business banking customers to privately and securely declare their "Added Value Tax" over the internet.
The rollout was prompted by risks posed by static password authentication, which led to the bank seeking a better way of validating the identity of users before granting mobile network access and online services.
"Our employees and customers alike are conducting confidential and time-critical transactions over the internet, where security is essential," said Daniel Savoyen, e-business and security director at CEDICAM, a subsidiary of Credit Agricole, specialising in payments and flow.