Organisations typically have two options:
- go for an in-house PKI, whether or not assisted by a third party with experience in PKI implementations;
- go for an outsourced PKI solution.
Even large governmental bodies such as the Belgian government have recently chosen for an outsourced solution. As part of an overall strategy to deliver e-government services to its citizens, the Belgian government defined the Belpic project, providing an electronic identity card to each Belgian citizen over a period of five years. The electronic identity card contains a photo, some basic identity information and a signature of the cardholder in visual and electronic format. Digital certificates stored on the card will allow secure identification and electronic signing.
The PKI market has not delivered on its promise because the implementation and maintenance of an in-house Public Key Infrastructure requires highly specialized internal staff. What customers such as the Belgian government want are digital certificates to secure their applications. They don't want the hassle of implementing and maintaining a complex PKI environment. Some Managed Security Service Providers, e.g. Ubizen, offer such outsourced PKI solutions.
Infosecurity Europe is Europe's largest and most important information security event. Now in its 8th year, the show features Europe's most comprehensive FREE education programme, and over 200 exhibitors at the Grand Hall at Olympia from 29th April - 1st May 2003. www.infosec.co.uk
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