RSA Security wins Defense Department infrastructure contract

RSA Security Inc. won a multi-million dollar contract to provide its Keon certificate authority software to the Department of Defense.

The software will be used to provide high-assurance digital certificates to the Defense Department for online identification and authentication as part of the Release 4 of the department's public key infrastructure project. General Dynamics Corp., Falls Church, Va., is the prime contractor implementing the system, under a contract it won in November 2001.

Work on the Key Management Infrastructure includes the development and fielding of a Class 4 PKI certification management system that integrates multiple certificate authorities' products. These high-grade digital certificates have strict requirements for the distribution and use of certificates, protection and recovery of keys, and stringent auditing requirements. Digital certificates are an important component of using the Internet as a vehicle for legally binding electronic transactions and communications.

"PKI and the use of digital certificates are rapidly becoming the technology of choice for enabling security services within DoD," said R. Michael Green, former director of the DoD PKI program management office.

For example, the DoD could load these digital certificates onto the DoD Common Access Card (CAC), which is a multi-application smart card used to enable physical access to buildings, while providing digital signing, user authentication and certificate-based log-on to networks and computer systems.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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