DISA taps IdenTrust to issue digital certificates

The Defense Information Systems Agency has certified IdenTrust to issue digital certificates for the Defense Department's External Certificate Authority program, which relies on approved private-sector vendors to issue digital certificates to non-DOD users.

DOD requires digital certificates for its own personnel and for outside parties who need to share data or messages with DOD in a secure fashion or access DOD computer systems and data. DOD issues its own digital certificates, but it established the ECA program to let the private sector administer certificates issued to contractors, business employees, state and local government officials, individuals, foreign workers and others who regularly connect to DOD computers or data.

IdenTrust said about 350,000 contractors work closely enough with DOD to need ECA digital certificates. Once issued a certificate, an individual or organization can access secure DOD Web sites, exchange secure e-mail with DOD, connect remotely to DOD networks and digitally sign documents.

IdenTrust joins VeriSign and Operational Research Consultants as the third vendor to receive ECA certification.

DISA said it approved IdenTrust in July as an ECA vendor at the Medium Assurance and Medium Assurance Hardware levels for identity and encryption certificates with key recovery capability.

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