VeriSign touts trust services

Laying the groundwork for its mission to move security complexity from applications to system infrastructure, VeriSign Inc. made a host of announcements at RSA Conference 2001 on Tuesday, including the launch of its next-generation Internet trust services.

The services, accessible through XML interfaces as part of a utility-based managed services platform, include a managed user provisioning service called Access360.net, second-generation PKI (public key infrastructure), new entitlements management, and trade settlement services.

Access360.net, developed in conjunction with resource provisioning management vendor Access360, is a hosted service that automates connecting of customers, employees, and business partners to designated information. The service will be available this quarter, according to Anil Pereira, senior vice president and group general manager at Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign.

VeriSign also announced that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has officially recognized its XKMS (XML key management specification) developed with Microsoft and webMethods. Baltimore Technologies, HP, IBM, and PureEdge were named among a host of vendors that have offered support of the XKMS specification created to integrate advanced PKI into e-commerce applications and promote PKI interoperability.

Based on the XKMS architecture, VeriSign's revamped second-generation PKI service "unshackles applications from issuers," Pereira said, meaning e-commerce vendors need not have to be the digital certificate issuer to accept a buyer's certificates and can verify credentials from multiple issuers. He said the applications are built to integrate with enterprises, business-to-business exchanges, and other selling communities regardless of existing PKI frameworks.

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