Oakland County Beefs Up Web Site Security for Online Payments

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Pontiac, Mich., January 20, 2009 – Oakland County has implemented stronger security for its eCommerce online services, reinforcing its already advanced protections of citizens’ confidential online data. The County’s new Entrust Extended Validation SSL Certificates provide the highest security currently available to protect web site transactions. Oakland County is among the first county governments in the nation to use Extended Validation SSL Certificates.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said, “Protecting citizens’ confidential information online is of paramount concern to us. Our online services are now even more secure, and citizens can be confident that transactions conducted online with Oakland County are protected.”

Oakland County Deputy County Executive and CIO Phil Bertolini said, “We’ve put in the strongest security measures possible today, to protect people doing business on the County’s Web site. Extended Validation SSL Certificates are extremely important for the protection of private information online.”

The new security measures are seamless for citizens using the County’s web site, although some newer web browsers will display a green bar to indicate sites that are protected by Entrust Extended Validation SSL Certificates.

“Oakland County’s use of EV SSL Certificates will instill confidence in online visitors via obvious trust indicators that confirm they have reached the correct Web site, which is a key tactic to help defend citizens against malicious fraud attacks,” said Entrust Senior Vice President Kevin Simzer. “We applaud Oakland County for taking a proactive step to help address online fraud by implementing EV SSL Certificates that better serve the needs of their overall security approach.”

The County’s enhanced security for online transactions was put in place after a 2008 survey conducted by Oakland County eGovernment and Michigan State University revealed that some citizens were reluctant to do business online due to safety concerns.

In addition to the new web site security certificates, in 2007 Oakland County also received compliance certification from the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council, a coalition of credit card issuers including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diner’s Club, Discover, and JCB. This important certification endorses Oakland County’s eCommerce information security practices and recognizes the County’s 100% compliance with a set of strict, comprehensive requirements for enhancing credit card payment account security. Citizens using Oakland County’s popular online services now experience extra protection against potential data theft.

There are currently more than 32 online services available via the Oakland County public web site www.oakgov.com, recently named the #1 county government web site in the “Best of the Web” nationwide competition by the Center for Digital Government involving some 3,000 government websites across the country.

Find out more about Oakland County’s award-winning eGovernment programs at www.oakgov.com. For media inquiries, please contact Bob Dustman, Media and Communications Officer, at (248) 858-1048.

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