N.J. increases Internet security for state agencies

New Jersey selected VeriSign Inc. to provide a public-key infrastructure

to secure communication between state agencies via the Internet.

The software will enable state agencies to use digital certificates — which

vouch for the authenticity of documents — for messages, digital signatures

and other communication forms.

"We're rapidly moving to conducting business online," said Odysseus Marcopolus,

New Jersey's director of e-government. "And we need to ensure the security

and privacy of those communications."

The software uses digital certificates to authenticate the sender of the

document and to ensure that it was not altered in transit.

New Jersey's first use of the software will be for the Department of Labor,

which will use the security system for its Workers' Compensation Case Tracking

System.

PKI uses a dual-key system where for each recipient one key is used for

encryption, which is made public, and the other key is private, only held

by the individual. Only that individual could read the document because

the second key is needed to open it.

The system will be implemented by September, Marcopolus said.

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