Digital Signature Trust Empowers Federal Agencies To Accurately Assess the Risks of Moving Processes Online

July 11, 2001

In an effort to help federal agencies take processes online, Digital Signature Trust (DST), an affiliate of Zions Bancorporation (Nasdaq: ZION – news), today unveiled its Electronic Transaction Risk Assessment (ETRA(SM)) service. Under GPEA (Government Paperwork Elimination Act), agencies are required to undertake an in-depth analysis of their authentication requirements before taking transactions online. ETRA analyzes issues such as how the agency verifies online identities and, if a transaction is fraudulent, the level of risk to which the agency or the public will be exposed. ETRA provides a powerful risk assessment methodology that gives organizations all the information necessary to make intelligent and safe decisions about online authentication.

“Agencies understand the need to go digital, but aren’t sure about the mechanics,” said Keren Cummins, vice president of government services for Digital Signature Trust. “The road to secure, cost-effective, and efficient digital transactions can be perilous. Web-enabling an agency application can be relatively easy, but ensuring the identity of the parties using it can be very difficult. With ETRA, we package our years of expertise to make any agency’s risk assessment quick, accurate, and thorough.”

“DST has been helping organizations plan and implement digital transaction infrastructures since the earliest days of the paperless revolution,” said Scott Lowry, president and CEO of Digital Signature Trust. “With ETRA, we leverage our experience and proven best practices to effectively and accurately help federal agencies determine needs, calculate the authentication risk associated with transactions in any medium, and plan the best solution based on that analysis. With something as important as GPEA compliance, an accurate risk assessment with ETRA is absolutely necessary.”

ETRA is a proven model designed specifically for federal agencies. It is a complete methodology for evaluating identity authentication risk, focused on a systematic review and record of transaction architecture. ETRA includes a process component based on current industry risk-assessment practices and an information collection component based on each individual organization’s operational concerns. The result is an integrated and comprehensive set of practices that provide a faster, more accurate, and more consistent risk assessment.

ETRA guides the participant through a documentation process and a comprehensive evaluation of the risks and benefits the transaction poses to the organization and its customers. Decision makers use this information to determine the inherent qualitative risk that a compromise of the authentication process poses to all participating parties. Finally, they use this risk analysis to identify an appropriate, commercially available product or practice for mitigating that risk.

Customized ETRA services are available now from DST through the GSA ACES contract. Agencies interesting in learning more about ETRA can contact the DST Federal Project Management Office by telephone at (866) 299-3335, by e-mail at, or by a visit to the Government Solutions section on the DST Web site (