02 April, 2010
Entrust Inc. has been providing PKI services to the General Services Administration as part of the USAccess program since July 2007. The GSA reached a milestone this week, activating it 450,000th PIV credential with PKI.
The GSA created the USAccess program to facilitate the deployment of the credentials. The program was developed in response to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), which requires federal agencies to issue a common identity credential.
While the GSA’s PIV credentials provide users with physical access to secure buildings and facilities, the PKI certificate, issued from Entrust’s hosted federal PKI certification authority, also enables employees to digitally sign documents and e-mails — promoting secure collaboration and increasing operational efficiency. GSA was issuing as many as 10,000 credentials a week during peak enrollment periods.
Each GSA credential includes four PKI certificates that are stored in a PIV container, which is in the contact chip visible on the front of the credential. These four certificates enable digital signatures, encryption, PIV authentication and card authentication. PIV credentials enable access to buildings and systems for which federal employees and contractors are authorized. Without a PIV credential, they may not be able to enter certain buildings, or will need to be registered as a guest.
Via a trusted PKI environment, Entrust enables U.S. government agencies to use authentication, encryption and digital signatures to maintain security standards through physical and online channels. By assigning digital certificates to authorized identities, departments and even devices, Entrust PKI serves as a trust infrastructure to help improve operational efficiency, help prevent fraud and information breaches and promote secure communication and collaboration on sensitive projects.