VeriSign Teams with Microsoft on Authentication

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.

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