From VeriSign’s press release:
VeriSign, Inc. today announced that it will work with Microsoft Corp. to deliver authentication services that combine Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with VeriSign’s strong authentication services. These services will significantly decrease the cost and complexity of deploying strong authentication across the enterprise. VeriSign will demonstrate this technology, which will go into Beta in April 2004, when Stratton Sclavos, VeriSign chairman and CEO, gives his Keynote address at RSA 2004 later this afternoon. General availability of this service is slated for Summer 2004.
“By leveraging existing standards in an open architecture framework, this solution allows customers to deploy a variety of strong credential options utilizing their existing Microsoft infrastructure,” said Judy Lin, executive vice president and general manager, VeriSign Security Services. “VeriSign’s highly scalable strong authentication service, combined with Microsoft Windows 2003 components, takes advantage of both companies’ strengths to deliver a service that is highly scalable and flexible, yet easy and affordable to deploy.”
For end users, VeriSign’s strong authentication service uses and extends Microsoft protocols licensed as part of a strategic partnership announced in June 2003. This will allow for seamless provisioning of desktop PKI credentials to include additional strong credentials, such as One Time Password (OTP) tokens, PKI tokens, smart cards, and desktop PKI. These strong credentials can be used in a variety of built-in Microsoft applications, such as secure VPN, WIFI access or secure email.
Additionally, this service will allow network administrators to use Microsoft Active Directory to manage users, and Microsoft Management Console to provision credentials. These components will then be linked to VeriSign’s highly scalable, reliable, and secure strong authentication service to validate 2-factored credentials. The combined solution will allow enterprises to deploy strong authentication in scale, leveraging their existing infrastructure, with minimal additional hardware or software.
“Customers have told us that they need integrated solutions for enabling strong authentication in Windows environments,” said Mike Nash, vice president, Security Business and Technology Unit, Microsoft Corporation. “We are pleased to work with VeriSign to help customers more securely manage user and device identities within and across enterprises.”
VeriSign’s strong authentication service also includes one of the first reference implementations of the OATH architecture. Announced on February 23, 2004, OATH is a revolutionary new approach to drive more ubiquitous adoption of strong authentication technology across all users, devices, and networks. Based primarily on existing standards, OATH will help to ensure that secure credentials can be provisioned and verified by disparate software and hardware platforms, removing traditional barriers to widespread adoption.