NIST readies security, workflow pilot
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Aug 09, 2000
The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology
is getting ready to kick off a 100-seat pilot to test security and electronic
The E-Approval pilot participants, who are scattered throughout NIST, will
begin using public-key infrastructure and digital signatures, electronic
forms and workflow applications for "real work" within the next few weeks,
said Bruce Rosen, associate director for CIO projects in NIST's Information
Technology Lab. A final training class was held last week.
Using technology from Entrust Technologies Inc., NIST employees will be
able to digitally sign and encrypt e-mail and electronic forms. But the
pilot is more than just PKI, Rosen said. "It is actually part of a larger
effort to do electronic workflow and include the ability to sign things
within workflow using PKI," he said.
NIST plans to start out slowly, Rosen said, and test only a few forms and
their associated workflow processes. Some forms, such as an internal work
order to get a new key made, require few signatures. But other forms, such
as a form used to initiate a procurement, must go through a more complex
approval process that involves more people.
In some cases, the business process will change. "Using these electronic
workflows can emulate the current method of processing paper or can change
it," Rosen said.
NIST contracted with integrator Matcom to put the pilot in place. It is
using products from HandySoft Corp. called BizFlow and BizForms to enable
the electronic workflow and electronic forms applications.
If the pilot proves successful, it will be rolled out to the rest of NIST,