Microsoft and VeriSign are to combine Windows Server 2003 and VeriSign's Managed Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Services platform to allow enterprises to deploy and manage secure communication and digital identity infrastructures.
The companies said that the move will address key enterprise security needs, such as strong authentication for remote access.
Initial work will focus on using the certificate auto-enrolment capabilities in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP to develop a service that can take advantage of PKI enhancements.
Automating the issuing and renewal of digital certificates to users can allow companies to improve security policies, such as confidential and secure email, file protection and digital signatures.
The service would also support secure wireless access to corporate networks, virtual private networks and other applications.
A second initiative will focus on interoperability services to enable enterprises to federate trust, extending internal PKI capabilities beyond the corporate network.
This would allow firms to extend secure commerce and communications infrastructures beyond the perimeter, and enable applications such as secure email, messaging, form signing and secure network access across enterprises.
The first commercially available products from the deal are expected to arrive in late 2003.
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