The launch of several new products last week could make it easier for federal and state agencies to manage the digital IDs needed for the secure exchange of information with citizens and trading partners across the Internet. Managing digital certificates, which attach to electronic messages to verify the identities of the people making online transactions, involves many complex steps that are manually done by systems administrators. As a result, the tasks of issuing, installing and renewing digital certificates are prone to human error, which can result in costly system downtime. Not having “the ability to manage certificates has limited lots of things states want to do with citizens and trading partners,” said Phil Windley, a consultant and former chief information officer for Utah. Managing certificates issued to police officers in Utah and other states who need access to Utah’s criminal justice computer system proved so unwieldy that the task had to be outsourced, he said. Full Story
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