Entrust signs PKI deal with Homeland Security Department

Two-year agreement covers encryption, digital certificates

Entrust, Inc. will provide its Public Key Infrastructure services to the Homeland Security Department’s 225,000 employees under a two-year agreement, the company announced today.

The services include encryption, digital certificates and secure credentials for logical and physical access. Also as part of the deal, Entrust’s partner XTec Inc. will provide solutions for compliance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12.

Entrust and XTec will provide DHS employees with smart cards that can be used for accessing computer systems and networks, as well as encryption for e-mail systems and desktops.

Under the contract, DHS’ 22 component agencies will be serviced by the same PKI architecture and infrastructure, which will facilitate cost savings and efficiency, Entrust President Bill Conner said in a statement.

"The Department of Homeland Security should be lauded for not only unifying their security architecture, but for doing so in a manner that enhances cross-component efficiency and helps save money by reducing the number of solutions securing different offices and locations,” Conner said.

Entrust said its PKI solution currently is being used at the Energy, Justice, Labor, State and Treasury departments, the Government Printing Office, NASA, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and by the states of Illinois and Virginia.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

PKI is a system of identity management and information security that has been used for more than a decade. Entities enter into trust relationships with each other and agree to trust each other’s credentials.

The Defense Department recently agreed to authorize its first outside vendor of digital certificates.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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