Illinois Continues Impressive PKI Adoption Rate
As one of the leading states to implement a large-scale, enterprise public key infrastructure, the State of Illinois issued its 100,000th digital certificate on Jan. 3, a major milestone for one of the country’s leading e-Government initiatives.
The State of Illinois is one of the top state governments in the country in leveraging information technology to help deliver valuable secure services to its citizens. The State of Illinois has transformed itself into one of the major e-Government leaders by redesigning the delivery of government services. The project provides a standardized way for state agencies to manage authentication, encryption and digital signatures to avoid having to purchase, build or manage similar solutions for individual applications.
Illinois created infrastructure using a common credential, which enables citizens, businesses and state employees to use a single credential, known as a “Digital ID,” for a variety of applications. The project — titled the Digital Signature/Public Key Infrastructure Project — is significant because local governments can also leverage the state-issued Digital IDs. Citizens and businesses accessing many local government applications can use these Digital IDs rather than maintain multiple digital identities for the different levels of government.
Illinois turned to Entrust, Inc.for deployment of Entrust Authority(TM) infrastructure and a suite of interoperable security products.
“The State of Illinois has proven to be one of the most proactive, leading-edge organizations to adopt and successfully leverage PKI solutions at a large, enterprise level, enabling more efficient delivery of citizen services,” said Entrust Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Conner. “Their continued success — as demonstrated by the issuance of their 100,000th Digital ID — should serve as a blueprint to other governments and organizations on how to implement a secure, efficient infrastructure for citizens, customers and clients.”
Illinois’ initiative was designed to add an extra layer of security to online government services available to every Illinois citizen. To date, more than 40 state agencies have adopted the PKI solution, many for multiple applications that serve citizens, businesses and government employees. The project’s benefits stem from stronger information security for both the government and its citizens. Additionally, the solution is convenient for citizens, is a more efficient use of state funding and is easier for agencies to manage.
The State of Illinois was also the first state to successfully cross- certify with the Federal Bridge Certification Authority (FBCA), which enables the state-issued Digital IDs to be used for authentication to federal government applications. Prior to the State of Illinois’ application, the FBCA had never cross-certified with an external organization, so the opportunity for future interoperability with other state governments could be on the horizon.
By managing the full lifecycles of certificate-based digital identities, Entrust Authority PKI helps enable encryption, digital signature and authentication capabilities to be consistently and transparently applied across a broad range of applications and platforms.
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