Bill Conner, Entrust CEO, Addresses United Nations, INTERPOL

During a gathering of media, foreign press and United Nations member countries June 15 in New York City, Entrust CEO and President Bill Conner— a special guest of INTERPOL Secretary General Ron K. Noble — explored the global challenges in cybercrime.

Following is a transcript of that speech, which includes the vision, innovation and strategic position of both Entrust and Conner. It outlines today’s current threats that target organizations of all sizes, in all parts of the world, as they continue to fight online crime, international fraud and identity theft.

“Mr. Secretary General, Mr. Under-Secretary-General, guests from the United Nations and the business community … On behalf of all at Entrust, thank you for the opportunity of hosting this unique and important luncheon briefing.

I’m from Texas, and I believe that everyone from Dallas to Delhi, or from Houston to Hong Kong, or from Austin to Austria, is well aware that crime today poses a greater threat to the security of nations, of corporations and of individuals than ever before.

I believe that today we must take a more global view and take advantage of technology in our efforts to make the world a better place.

Since I am a technologist by heart, training, and soul — not a diplomat or law enforcement officer — my role is to bring technology to the good guys and put it to good use.

Today, we must develop and deploy the best technology to enable a greater good for governments, enterprises and citizens around the world. Today, that balance in the cyberworld between the good and those who want to harm us is not even close.

What Entrust is doing with INTERPOL — and what we have done with government and law enforcement agencies around the world — is about how to use technology, policy and approaches to enable the good guys, while demystifying the complex world of Internet security and software.

The total cost that we all suffer far exceeds the cost of security beforehand. This is not a year 2000 event, where you spend once to solve an issue and see if you pass. It is akin to a quality process that must be disciplined, measured and continually improved on — day in and day out.

Metamorphosis of Global Cybercrime

I believe, that in my lifetime, the most compelling development in science or technology has been the birth and growth of the Internet. This paradigm shift has delivered unprecedented opportunities for information, education, recreation, communication and commerce, thereby improving the quality of all our lives.

At the same time, we know that abuses of the Internet contribute to an unfortunately large and dangerous inventory of crimes from identity theft and financial fraud to cyber terrorism. I have had an opportunity to work with many of my colleagues and policy-makers in coordinating strategies to enhance the positive aspects of the internet’s promise and to combat those who abuse it.

In the cyberworld there are differing levels of complexity and challenges. Law enforcement must keep up the idiosyncrasies of both hardware and software platforms.

Hardware platforms are the physical tools cybercriminals use. Their metamorphosis follows Moors law — that capacity doubles and cost halves every 18 months. In the cyberworld the metamorphosis is even greater, where the software tools being used are changing in days, not years, and in many cases hours and even minutes. This makes it a constant real-time battle for all of us around the world.

Innovation for Interpol


Ron has given you his perspective and challenges as the CEO of INTERPOL. Let me give you the perspective and challenges as a corporate CEO. We have financial responsibility to stakeholders, customers, employees, partners and the public at large. But, we are equally devoted to wearing our hat as citizens, neighbors and consumers.

In identity-based security, we all rely on government entities to provide the most trusted credentials. What Entrust has done is build a bridge between these national credentials, global credentials and enterprise-wide credentials by delivering a single counterfeit-proof identity document.

Entrust is particularly proud to have partnered with INTERPOL in the development of this new level of identity-based security that will assist INTERPOL officers and law enforcement around the world in their travel and in their pursuit of transnational criminals.

The INTERPOL Global Smart eID & eVisa provides an integrated smartcard service that enables secure officer credentials at an employee and government level worldwide.

This unprecedented credential and service provides secure access to INTERPOL facilities and networks. Officers only need the one single credential for secure, enterprise-wide access and crossing borders. It allows for virtual borders at event venues like those happening right now in South Africa with the FIFA World Cup where our cards are being used by INTERPOL officers as we speak.

Identity-Based Security

At the core of INTERPOL’s multipurpose smartcard is Entrust’s technology and services, which allows organizations to establish and maintain a trustworthy environment. Our credentialing service provides secure access to buildings and facilities, INTERPOL networks and data. This enables INTERPOL to control access to resources, prevent theft of information and comply with privacy and digital signature regulations and laws on a global basis.

INTERPOL’s use of strong multipurpose eIDs helps ensure that the identities of INTERPOL officers aren’t misused to perpetrate fraud or crimes against the agency or individual countries.

These specialized cards and service are versatile, scalable and adhere to high security standards — including the anytime, anywhere access requirements of INTERPOL. This next-generation solution gives the user strong identity, access and communication capabilities far beyond what was previously possible. We have been very pleased to work with INTERPOL on innovative, identity-based security that will help them fulfill their mission.

Needless to say, Entrust and INTERPOL have a shared mission: make the world a safer place. I’ve talked about what we are currently doing with INTERPOL, but in my world you must be continuously looking ahead.

Protecting Borders, Stopping Cybercrime

In the world of cybercrime, we are facing extremely dangerous enemies armed with the most expensive and sophisticated hardware, software and boldness. They function in an environment where their white-collar crime, even if apprehended, brings only minimal punishment. If allowed to go unchecked, they will continue to grow, find new ways of proliferating cybercrime or fraud, and thus finding new targets — both big and small, public and private.

Most often these attacks are across sovereign borders. Dare I say that sovereign borders don’t exist to bad guys in the cyberworld? In fact, today these borders are the very shield of protection against the organization and the capture of cybercriminals.

When some of these ill-gotten proceeds from cybercrimes are routed to terrorists, the entire world’s security is threatened. We cannot allow cybercriminals to succeed. The cost in money, property and trust is too great. I believe that greater international cooperation is necessary to apprehend and prosecute these cybercriminals that threaten our way of life.

The good news is that technology and solutions exist today to thwart these cybercriminals. It just needs to be applied consistently and universally to deny the cybercriminals the easy access they have today.

Online Fraud Attacks on Financial Institutions

One area that should concern all of us is the amount of cybercrime targeting financial institutions and their corporate and individual customers. Just last night a major television broadcast reported financial losses this year alone at more than $100 million in the United States for banking fraud. This is a big problem. And it’s escalating at unprecedented rates.

Driving the issue is the fact that banking fraud can be perpetrated from a kilometer away or across the world. As I have said, the Internet has no set boundary on a criminal’s ability to defraud unsuspecting citizens around the world. We have developed solutions for the banking fraud epidemic that work today.

Our solutions are providing the necessary options for the bank and its customers to be protected. Stopping the bad guys means you must: first identify the good guys; second, the banks must use real-time monitoring with fraud detection; third, all financial transaction must be verified or digitally signed. These solutions and capabilities are available today to help banks and governments stem the rising tide of the cybercrime.

Entrust’s Commitment, Appreciation

Entrust is committed to developing the highest standard for identity-based security. We are using it with INTERPOL officers, as well as for other police forces, enterprises and citizens around the world. Our goal is to move from a defensive, reactive posture to one where we are anticipating and shutting down attacks before they occur.

Let me close by expressing, on behalf of Entrust and our employees around the world, our deep appreciation for the work of the United Nations and those who report on its important mission. The private sector is ready, able and determined to support your efforts.

Once again, I thank you, Secretary General Ron Noble, for your leadership and your commitment to making the world a safer place. Thank you all for joining us today.