VeriSign offers PKI to non-federal clients

VeriSign has announced VeriSign Non-Federal Shared Service Provider PKI, a managed public-key infrastructure service for organizations that need to work closely with the federal government, such as state and local agencies, government contractors, universities and health care providers.

The service enables nonfederal organizations to operate at the high levels of assurance required by the federal government, VeriSign representatives said. VeriSign Non-Federal SSP PKI includes a clone of the flagship PKI service VeriSign delivers to federal agencies for issuing Personal Identity Verification (PIV) smart cards to comply with Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12. The service is cross-certified with the Federal Bridge Certification Authority at four assurance levels, the company said. The highest level gives state and local governments the authority to issue PKI certificates on First Responder Authentication Cards, smart cards that are interoperable with the PIV cards issued to federal employees and contractors, VeriSign said.

"We have defined requirements to promote and ensure trusted, interoperable credentials for first responders, public safety officials, critical infrastructure partners and others needing high assurance interoperability for physical and logical access to federal government resources," said Peter Alterman, deputy associate administrator for technology at the General Services Administration. "Having Non-Federal Shared Service Provider PKIs cross-certified with the Federal Bridge is essential to meeting these interoperability requirements."

States that have adopted VeriSign Non-Federal SSP PKI include Colorado and Kansas, VeriSign said.

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Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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