VeriSign, the leading provider of intelligent infrastructure services for the Internet and telecommunications networks, has announced it is working with Microsoft to promote roaming wireless security for enterprises. As part of the collaboration, the two companies intend to develop a Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) security reference architecture and solution based on Microsoft Network Access Protection (NAP) and VeriSign Unified Authentication technologies.
Enterprises everywhere are benefiting from the productivity gains of a mobile workforce, but the need for security measures to protect employees and networks is paramount. Users connecting laptops directly to networks or through Wi-Fi hotspots present many challenges for enterprises and highlights the need for a secure network health solution based on industry standards. Microsoft's Network Access Protection technology is a comprehensive platform that allows system administrators to monitor and control computer access to corporate networks as well as update non-compliant computers.
VeriSign intends to address the needs of strong security in the roaming wireless environment by integrating VeriSign Unified Authentication and Microsoft Windows clients to provide the foundation for strong user authentication in an enterprise Wi-Fi network. VeriSign's Unified Authentication platform will simplify management of user and device credentials for X.509 certificates, smart cards and One Time Password (OTP) tokens in the Window environment by tightly integrating with Active Directory and Microsoft Internet Authentication Servers.
In addition, VeriSign is also supporting Microsoft's alignment with the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) to create an all-inclusive, multi-vendor, end- to-end solution that protects corporate assets.
"As the popularity of Wi-Fi roaming increases across private and public networks, so does the potential threats posed to corporate networks from unauthorized access, viruses, and information theft," said Steve Anderson, senior director in Windows Server Division at Microsoft Corp. "Our collective work around the NAP initiative and a wireless security architecture that integrates VeriSign Unified Authentication with Windows Clients will provide Enterprises and their users with a cost-effective, flexible and easy-to-deploy means to enable a trusted, remote working environment."
VeriSign support for NAP is anticipated to include the issuance of System Health Certificates to Windows desktop clients, enabling laptops and desktops to assert their integrity and compliance prior to being granted network resource access. The use of VeriSign Unified Authentication in the Windows environment will allow enterprises to more easily issue NAP certificates across a mobile workforce that includes employees, business partners and visiting guests.
"Through our work with Microsoft, VeriSign intends to enable the deployment of strong security solutions for corporate and public Wi-Fi networks," said Nico Popp, vice president, Authentication Services, VeriSign. "Network Access Protection technology enables enterprises to open their networks to mobile workers, customers, partners and others without sacrificing their security measures. VeriSign strongly supports Microsoft's efforts to align Network Access Protection with standardization efforts already underway with TCG, which will lead the way for a standards-based solution for interoperable end-point integrity."