RealNews

Illinois small business group plans PKI use

In Illinois, which plans to be the first state to make its public-key infrastructure interoperable with the Federal Bridge Certification Authority, the Small Business Development Center is building an application that will use the state’s PKI. The center counsels would-be small businesses on topics such as starting up operations, applying for grants and managing finances. It’s more than just general guidance; “very personal information is exchanged,” said Georgia Marsh, associate director of the Illinois Department of Revenue and a member of the state’s PKI Policy Authority. To secure the information that it plans to exchange electronically, the center needs the strong protection that digital certificates and a PKI will afford, Marsh said. Currently, businesses that seek counseling visit the center or one of its satellite offices. Everything is paper-based and manual, she said. “This is sometimes very difficult for business people because it involves physically going to the center during specific hours, and there may not be a center nearby that offers the specific counseling needed,” Marsh said. Full Story

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