IBM and VeriSign Release New Security Services

Managed solutions provide high-end protection at low cost for small- to medium-sized businesses.

IBM Corp. and VeriSign Inc. revealed two jointly developed security solutions for access management and trusted business-to-business messaging, building on an alliance the two companies forged in January.

The offerings, called VeriSign Access Management Services (AMS) and IBM-VeriSign Trusted E-Business Integration Solution, are the first product offerings to emerge as part of the agreement between the companies.

VeriSign AMS is a fully managed solution, which IBM and VeriSign expect to appeal to small- to medium-sized businesses (SMB) that lack the expertise or financial resources to deploy similar technology in-house. Operated by VeriSign and based on the IBM Tivoli Access Manager software, the service provides a single, Web-based console for administrators to manage users, groups, and security policies for specific applications.

"AMS really compliments our strategy in the [SMB] sector, and it really rounds out our product line," says Ajay Nigam, director of channel marketing and partner solutions for VeriSign.

According to Nigam, AMS cuts the amount of time it takes an organization to deploy Tivoli Access Manager from months to weeks. As part of the installation process for AMS, VeriSign establishes a proxy within the customer's infrastructure that coordinates the applications that need to be secured and the Access Manager software, which is hosted and managed by VeriSign. Once AMS is in place, a digital certificate is sent with each message to the applications being secured. The on-site proxy, in turn, uses the certificates to validate messages with the customer's user store and policy store before granting access to secured applications. The proxy is the only piece of software deployed on the customer's site as part of AMS.

The IBM-VeriSign Trusted E-Business Integration Solution is also a managed offering. It's designed to allow businesses with existing IBM WebSphere MQ installations to transmit secure messages over the public Internet using VeriSign's Digital Authentication Services.

Nayan Patel, a product manager for VeriSign, says the company's Digital Authentication Services have been certified to work with WebSphere MQ applications. In addition, he says, the managed authentication system can also coordinate with existing installations of Tivoli Access Manager to provide authentication, encryption, digital signing and access control.

Venkat Raghava, market manager for IBM Tivoli products, says, "[The trusted e-business integration offering] is the first solution to supply application-level security to WebSphere MQ." As such, he says, organizations with WebSphere MQ applications can now transmit secure messages over the Internet rather than via an isolated network connection, helping eliminate the cost of building hardened links to business partners, suppliers and customers.

"Now we can [extend into] the SMB market," says Raghava. "[These solutions] will allow IBM and Tivoli to reach out to small-to-medium sized businesses and provide them the ability to deploy secure applications."

About the Author

Matt Migliore is regular contributor to ENTmag.com. He focuses particularly on Microsoft .NET and other Web services technologies. Matt was the editor of several technology-related Web publications and electronic newsletters, including Web Services Report, ASP insights and MIDRANGE Systems.