Education hires VeriSign to improve PIV card issuing

The Education Department already passed the Oct. 27 Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 test, requiring all agencies to issue at least one Personal Identification Verification Card, but now it wants to make issuing the cards easier.

Education awarded a $1.5 million, three-year contract to VeriSign of Mountain View, Calif., for its integrated authentication services. VeriSign will supply the agency with its PIV card management system and shared-service provider, public-key infrastructure (PKI) solution. DLT Solutions of Herndon, Va., is a partner with VeriSign on the contract, said Doug Natal, vice president of sales for VeriSign.

The new system lets Education issue PIV cards faster, and it will let the agency fully comply with the mandate sooner. All agency employees and contractors must have a PIV card by October 2008.

The new system is a single platform that lets Education manage the distribution and use of PIV cards and PKI credentials.

Winona Varnon, Education's director of security services, said the VeriSign software makes it possible for the department to deploy an HSPD-12-compliant system 'without making costly infrastructure investments''

VeriSign will issue about 10,000 PKI certificates, which will begin immediately, Natal said.

Education is one of 10 agencies that chose to meet the Oct. 27 deadline on its own.

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