RealTime IT News

When a Single Password Just Won't Do

Online trust and payment services company VeriSign Inc. is teaming up with smart card and digital identity company ActivCard to bolster its public key infrastructure (PKI) service with a two-factor authentication solution.

Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign said the integrated solution will protect enterprise network resources, assuring that only authorized users can access corporate e-mail, intranets, extranets and other critical online resources. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

ActivCard , based in Fremont, Calif., said the deal will combine its two-factor authentication solution, which can be embedded in a variety of devices, with VeriSign's managed public key infrastructure (PKI) service for both wireless and wired operations.

VeriSign will integrate ActivCard's dynamic password authentication products with its personal trust agent (PTA), which provides "roaming" access to digital certificates from virtually any Internet-enabled device.

The companies also entered into a "preferred provider" arrangement to support mutual customers worldwide.

Two-factor authentication is a security method requiring users to submit two pieces of digital identification for remote access to a network or business application. Typically, users enter something they know, like a password, into something they have, such as a hand-held token or smart card, which generate dynamic one-time passwords for secure network access.

"As enterprises migrate more of their internal and external communications and transactions to a digital environment, the need to maximize trust through strong user authentication continues to be mission-critical," said Anil Pereira, senior vice president and group general manager of VeriSign's enterprise and service provider division.

Separately, Irvine, Calif.-based Datum Inc. said it would integrate VeriSign's digital certificate technology and services into Datum's StampServer product offerings. Datum said it would offer its Trusted Time StampServer product bundled with VeriSign's authentication services and digital IDs to customers worldwide. Trusted Time stamps provide proof of the date and time a digital document was signed or a transaction occurred.

Yesterday and RealNames Corp. reached an agreement to allow wider use of technology that allows Internet surfers to call up Web sites via simple keywords.

VeriSign, which runs the ".com," ".net" and ".org" domain name databases, will make RealNames Keywords available to the more than 90 registrars who resell Web addresses to individuals and companies.

Clearly VeriSign has been on a roll lately: just last week it announced a new suite of e-commerce products. Its stock was up $1.22 in the early going to $47.86.