Exostar’s Federated Identity Service Brings Enhanced Security to Bell Helicopter’s Sell2Bell Portal
HERNDON, VA, September 14, 2010 ─ Exostar, whose cloud-based solutions enable secure, cost-effective business-to-business collaboration, today announced that its Federated Identity Service (FIS) solution, a Software-as-a-Service offering for the issuance and maintenance of public key infrastructure (PKI) digital certificates, has been deployed for Bell Helicopter, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. Founded in 1935, Bell Helicopter has designed, built, and delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to customers worldwide.
FIS is enabling Bell Helicopter to more effectively control access to its Sell2Bell portal, which includes reference materials, information updates, and links to applications that allow suppliers to conduct business with the company. Previously, supplier organizations and their users entered a username/password combination to login to the portal and were authenticated via the lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) – an approach that did not provide two-factor authentication. FIS delivers two-factor authentication and the assurance that Sell2Bell users’ identities are validated before they are issued their credentials and given access to the portal. Bell Helicopter decided to upgrade the portal to comply with the strategic direction of Textron IT to adopt two-factor authentication and the A&D industry’s standardization towards higher assurance credentials using Medium Level of Assurance (MLOA) and Basic Level of Assurance (BLOA) digital certificates.
“Moving to a more secure version of Sell2Bell was a top priority, but we were concerned about the cost and resource implications associated with implementing and maintaining a solution that instituted stronger authentication practices for a growing supplier community,” said Ken Waterman, Director of IT Infrastructure, Risk Management and Security at Bell Helicopter. “FIS gives us a variety of authentication levels, which allows us to address the needs of a diverse supplier base and gracefully transition to our ultimate goal. With FIS’s hosted delivery model, we have received a complete experience. We worked closely with Exostar on all aspects of solution deployment, from supplier organization and user on-boarding, training, and support to the issuance, renewal, and revocation of digital certificates.”
To date, nearly 500 suppliers and 700 individual users have migrated to the new version of the Sell2Bell portal that enforces access via two-factor authentication. All suppliers who wish to use this version of the portal must present a digital certificate generated by FIS. FIS’s MLOA certificates, which require an in-person proofing event conducted by Exostar in conjunction with the National Notary Association and other sources internationally, are trusted by the U.S. Federal Bridge Certificate Authority. As a result, suppliers can leverage these certificates for interactions with Government agencies and other firms who recognize credentials cross-certified with the Federal PKI Bridge.
“FIS enables Bell Helicopter to satisfy its corporate identity assurance objectives while also demonstrating its commitment to leading the A&D industry’s move to standard use of MLOA credentials,” said Daniel Pfeifle, Exostar’s Vice President of Global Sales. “The processes and procedures we’ve implemented around FIS are providing Bell Helicopter with the foundation to cost-effectively achieve compliance mandates and meet the needs of their trading partner community, even as the number of suppliers, users, and transaction volumes continue to rise.”
Exostar powers secure business-to-business information sharing, collaboration and business process integration throughout the value chain. Exostar supports the complex trading needs of many of the world's largest companies in aerospace and defense, life sciences, and other industries. Exostar’s cloud-based identity assurance products and business applications reduce risk, improve agility and strengthen trading partner relationships and profitability for over 70,000 companies worldwide, including BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon Co. and Rolls-Royce. For more information, please visit www.exostar.com.
About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell’s global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries. More information is available at www.bellhelicopter.com.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Fluid & Power, Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation. More information is available at www.textron.com
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