IBM’s Got That Secure Feeling Going On

Baltimore Technologies scored a
winning run Wednesday when IBM Corp. added the security firm to its e-commerce portfolio.

Financial terms were not made public.

A major player in the e-business services market, Big Blue’s global services
unit plans to offer integration services to support the Baltimore UniCERT
certificate management system and Telepathy wireless e-security solutions.

The nub is that customers and business partners will have better protection
and more secure transactions at their finger tips. Baltimore is a respected leader in the public key infrastructure arena
along with fierce rival RSA
who, until last week, had kept a patent on
its encryption technology in the U.S. for the last 27 years.

Baltimore and its rivals did use the encryption algorithm for security
products overseas, but could not use it in this country until the patent

Baltimore responded a few days after the patent was lifted by releasing its
own KeyTools, which includes significant technology enhancements to
Baltimore’s previous toolkit range. Baltimore was restricted from selling
its leading range of developer products in America due to limitations
imposed by licensing conditions for the controversial patent on the RSA

Before the patent expired, bad blood had developed between RSA and
Baltimore, who accused the top security firm of bullying rivals and charging
high licensing rates for competitors and clients. Even analysts in the
security sector took notice.

“The release of RSA algorithm to the public domain will finally allow the
IETF to adopt uniform cryptographic standards,” said David Thompson,
research analyst with the META Group. “Longer term, the increased
availability of cryptographic functionality will allow easier and less
expensive integration of PKI security services into applications and thus
help overcome a major stumbling block — that
of application support for PKI.”

The expiration of the patent surely makes Baltimore’s deal with IBM that
much sweeter.

“The success of electronic and wireless commerce depends on trust and we
believe PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) is an essential building block
towards establishing trusted transactions,” said Cal Slemp, director, global
trust and e-commerce services, IBM Global Services.

IBM Global Services consultants and technologists now have access to
Baltimore’s e-security training programs, marketing tools and technical
support. More than 200 IBM e-business service professionals in 30 countries
will be certified to integrate Baltimore’s suite of e-security solutions
with their customers’ e-business and wireless systems.

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