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VeriSign links with Microsoft on authentication

VeriSign has partnered with Microsoft to deliver authentication services for Windows Server 2003, claiming that it will be cheaper and easier to install than existing offerings.

The partnership builds on a relationship between the companies announced last June when Microsoft and VeriSign said they were teaming up to provide PKI (public key infrastructure) security services for Windows Server 2003.

The authentication services will use and extend Microsoft protocols which VeriSign licensed last year. Users will be able to distribute desktop PKI credentials and include support for a variety of strong, multifactor authentication options such as smart cards and security tokens.

Furthermore, these user authentication products will also work with several Microsoft applications, including secure VPN (virtual private network), wireless Lan access and secured e-mail, VeriSign said. Systems administrators will be able to use Microsoft tools to manage users and provision credentials.

The authentication services will include one of the first reference implementations of the Open Authentication Reference Architecture (Oath), which VeriSign announced earlier this week.

Oath is intended to replace the patchwork of proprietary products for user authentication and provisioning used on the Internet, allowing users to access services on corporate networks and the web seamlessly.

General availability is slated for later this year. Pricing and licensing details were not announced.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service


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