VeriSign Teams with Microsoft on Authentication

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-02-25 Print this article Print

VeriSign plans to add its strong authentication services into Windows Server 2003 by the summer to simplify the deployment of enterprise network authentication.

SAN FRANCISCO—VeriSign Inc. introduced on Wednesday a technology partnership with Microsoft Corp. that combines its strong authentication services with Windows Server 2003. VeriSign Chairman and CEO Stratton Sclavos plans to demonstrate the technology later in the day during a keynote presentation at the RSA Conference 2004 being held here. By working with Microsoft, VeriSign said it plans to deliver enterprise-wide network authentication services on top of Windows Server 2003 by the summer of this year, with a beta program set to begin in April. VeriSigns announcement builds on a June 2003 strategic partnership with Microsoft that let Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign gain licensed access to Microsoft protocols.
The VeriSign-Microsoft combination will allow for the provisioning of desktop public key infrastructure credentials with more strong credentials, such as One Time Password tokens, PKI tokens and smart cards. These strong credentials could then be used with built-in Microsoft applications such as secure VPN, WiFi and secure e-mail, VeriSign said.
Network administrators also will be able to use Microsoft Active Directory to manage users and Microsoft Management Console to provision credentials. In a statement, Judy Lin, a VeriSign executive vice president and general manager, said the combined offering will help enterprises expand their strong authentication services by using their existing Microsoft infrastructure and with little need for hardware and software upgrades. In his RSA Conference keynote address on Tuesday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced several other technology partnerships to secure Windows. One of the agreements covered the integration of RSA Security Inc.s dual-layer SecurID technology into Windows. The plan is slated for release in the summer, officials said. Check out eWEEK.coms Server and Networking Center at for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switching and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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