CA unveils new version of its eTrust PKI

Computer Associates International Inc. hopes that upcoming enhancements to its security lineup will enable users to roll out complex public-key infrastructure (PKI) technology right out of the box.

Last week, the Islandia, N.Y.-based maker of enterprise management software announced version 2.0 of its eTrust PKI product. PKI manages issuing and storing digital certificates that authenticate users doing transactions over the Internet. With the latest iteration of eTrust PKI, users will now be able to cut the time and costs associated with implementing the technology, CA said.

The software, said CA, now comes with a scalable directory ready to work with any Lightweight Directory Access Protocol enabled directory, and is fully interoperable with CA’s single sign-on and Web access control products, said Piers McMahon, director of security product management at CA.

CA appears to be responding to a general need to simplify PKI management.

“In general, almost all of the suppliers of PKI products have learned that they must make it easier for customers to configure and deploy the technology,” said James Hurley, an analyst at Boston-based Aberdeen Group Inc. CA, along with London-based Baltimore Technologies PLC, appears to offer the best products in terms of usability, convenience and ease of integration with an existing information technology infrastructure.

The LDAP-ready feature in the eTrust PKI 2.0 is of particular interest to Chris Werling, president and CEO of Cornerstone Solutions Inc., a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based IT service provider. The firm would like to be able to integrate the product with its Web site to allow customers to log on with their PKI certificates and perform functions such as checking the status of support tickets and problem resolution.

The State of Arizona’s Department of Transportation is already using the product in beta and plans to purchase it, according to Jamie Rybarczyk, an IT system engineer at the agency.

The department has been using eTrust PKI 2.0 to let Arizona drivers sign on to its Web site 24 hours a day to access pertinent information securely. Previously, drivers had to physically go to an agency office to get the data.

Now, “they get the certificate once and it also gives them a 24-by-seven ability to get information, and it saves them a lot of time,” Rybarczyk said.

The new product is expected to be generally available in April. It will cost US$40 per user per 1,000 users, and 40 cents per user per million users.