Baltimore manages certificates for service providers

Baltimore Technologies PLC announced Monday at the RSA Conference 2001 here that it will help service providers more easily deploy and operate a PKI (public key infrastructure) through the launch of UniCert Certificate Deployment Service (CDS).

Hosted by Dublin-based Baltimore, UniCert CDS will allow service providers to give customers control of the digital certificate lifecycle and authentication through a Web interface that removes administrative hassles of setting up complex PKI environments, said Andrew Morbitzer, vice president of marketing at Baltimore.

"The more you can make [digital certificate processes] transparent and more tight, the better off [customers] are," Morbitzer said. "By pulling people [out of the process] you reduce errors."

Last month, VeriSign drew heavy criticism when the company admitted "human error" accidentally provided a user falsely claiming to be Microsoft with a pair of program signing digital certificates. The false certificates have been made public and can be protected against through security instructions on Microsoft's Web site.

Growing e-business and transaction-based needs being pushed out the network is putting more pressure on companies to get a handle on the complex security in place to protect those actions, said senior analyst Peter Lindstrom, of Framingham-based Hurwitz Group.

"Security that use to be at the network layer is [now] driven up the stack for information rather than data and people rather than devices," Lindstrom said. "When you do that, identification, credentials, authentication becomes more important -- the real information that exists in the business world. You're going to want to manage that."

PKI can be used to protect e-mail, Internet transactions, and VPNs, and e-commerce applications.

Morbitzer said there is no set timeframe to offer UniCert CDS as a product release for customers.

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