EDS Forges Security Partnership

EDS Forges Security Partnership

Chris Louden

By Nick Wakeman

Electronic Data Systems Corp. has formed a joint venture with the National Technical Information Services agency to provide public key infrastructure security services to federal, state and local agencies. NTIS is a fee-for-service agency that is part of the Department of Commerce.

Several agencies already have asked about the PKI offerings, which include secure e-mail and online submissions of data, said Chris Louden, director of FedWorld, a branch of NTIS that provides Internet and other information services to agencies.

Early government efforts are likely to include many pilot projects, Louden said, noting that agencies "are a little concerned and a little scared." But depending on the success of the pilots, he said, the market will blossom next year.

Neither EDS nor NTIS officials would share revenue projections for their security solutions offerings; the two will share the revenues, costs and burdens, officials said.

The joint venture, which will be reviewed annually, should put EDS on the leading edge of electronic commerce, company officials said. "This is a key part of our global electronic business strategy," said Shakil Kidwai, vice president of information assurance for EDS Government Industry Group.

EDS was selected over three other companies: VeriSign Inc. of Mountain View, Calif.; Digital Signature Trust Co. of Salt Lake City; and GTE CyberTrust of Needham Heights, Mass., according to industry sources.

NTIS and EDS will face competition as they market their services to the government. The General Services Administration is in the midst of evaluating bids for its $100 million Access Certificates for Electronic Services contract, which is expected to be awarded by the end of the summer to several contractors.

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