Academia leads the way with digital signatures

Copenhagen Business School is pioneering the use of digital certificates in academia

Copenhagen Business School is pioneering the use of digital certificates in academia

By Paul Phillips

Copenhagen Business School is pioneering the use of digital certificates in academia and other industry sectors are expected to follow suit throughout the year.

The Business School implemented a pilot project a year ago issuing 100 students with certificates to secure examination papers submitted by email.

Annie Stahel, project manager for CBS commented, "Our ultimate vision is a single sign-on including databases and emails to create a virtual learning space, which will greatly reduce administration, and subsequently costs."

Duncan Brown, Ovum's consulting director for IT, predicts that 2001 will be the year when digital signatures start to be widely used. "Digital signatures have not taken off as fast as expected because companies have realised that it is difficult [to implement]".

Neil Barrett, Technical Director of security specialist IRM, commented "companies have been put off by the problems of initial identification together with the issue of interoperability". Barrett continued, "this type of technology works well in enclosed environments like universities rather than in an open environment like banks".

However, Stuart Peters, managing director of Protect Data, the company responsible for deploying the Copenhagen Business School system, predicted that the finance industry would adopt digital signatures in pilots, scaling this up "as their infrastructure and administration becomes simpler".

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