MCI taps VeriSign for security services

MCI Inc., Ashburn, Va., has partnered with Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign Inc. to deliver a new suite of security solutions for telecommunications customers, the company said.

MCI's security services portfolio will grow to include VeriSign's Intelligence and Control Services, which help protect increasingly complex data and voice applications. The services will roll out in May, MCI officials said.

Jonathan Crane, MCI's president of strategy and alliances, said the VeriSign partnership would help the company tailor security solutions to agencies' specific needs, and "implement the right set of measures to meet their evolving security requirements above and beyond the traditional 'one size fits all' approach."

One of the solutions will be a strong authentication service, called Managed PKI, that will allow MCI customers to incorporate digital certificate-based authentication into their e-mail and Web applications, directories and virtual private network devices. A managed service will allow agencies to quickly and cost-effectively implement PKI technology without changing their IT infrastructures.

"With services originating from anywhere, anytime, using a range of devices and traversing multiple networks, [organizations] are increasingly looking for a provider that brings a combination of IP, telephony and deep security expertise to the table," said Bryan van Dussen, analyst for the Boston-based Yankee Group.

MCI, formerly WorldCom Inc., serves more than 75 federal agencies.

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