VeriSign gets GSA FIPS-201 certification

VeriSign can now sell public-key infrastructure (PKI) services that meet the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201 for Personal Identity Verification of Federal Employees and Contractors, company officials said today.

VeriSign’s Shared Service Provider (SSP) PKI is the first of 90 products to receive General Services Administration certification through the agency’s FIPS 201 Evaluation Program, said George Schu, public-sector vice president at VeriSign.

The certification enables federal customers to buy FIPS 201-compliant products, Schu said. FIPS 201 is the technical standard for secure federal government credentials, which are required under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12).

By mid-July, GSA wants to certify at least three vendors in each of the 20 categories of components necessary for HSPD-12 implementation, such as biometrics, smart card readers, and physical and logical security interfaces, Schu said.

GSA has also approved two other SSPs: ORC ACES/SSP on June 15 and Cybertrust Federal SSP June 20, according to the evaluation program’s Web site.

Schu said he expects GSA to move quickly to certify other products to meet the mid-July deadline because the Office of Management and Budget has indicated it won’t offer an extension.

Additionally, “the urgency is becoming very real now because we have that Oct. 27 deadline [for HSPD-12 implementation] in the not-too-distant future,” Schu said. “The entire federal government is waiting for the approved-products list to be approved.”

“Now agencies can be serious about getting solutions together and issuing cards,” he said.

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