Baltimore Technologies is the first company in Australia to receive accreditation by the Government Public Key Authority (GPKA) to provide the Government with Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) services for online applications.
Under the agreement, Baltimore subsidiary Certificates Australia is now authorised to supply Government agencies with software, keys and certificates to use digital signatures as part of a government PKI.
"This accreditation will allow us to provide a full range of PKI services to government agencies in Australia, opening new market opportunities for us," said John Palfreyman, senior vice-president Asia Pacific Baltimore Technologies. "Baltimore has always demonstrated its commitment to providing advanced PKI systems for both enterprise and e-commerce use, and as the only Gatekeeper-accredited PKI provider at this time we are uniquely positioned to service the government market."
Following its acquisition of Sydney-based Security Domain last year, Baltimore's major R&D centre is located in Australia. Attempting to further strengthen its local presence, Palfreyman said the message for resellers is that Baltimore is "actively looking for channels" and "is not into the direct approach", with a number of partnering announcements to be released in the next few weeks.
Despite having a large services division (that works with security), Palfreyman said that security is often only part of the solution and this accreditation paves the way for the channel to integrate Baltimore's technology into the applications rolled out for their clients.
While the Office for Government Online and Centrelink have undertaken discussions with Certificates Australia regarding planned application for the technology, Palfreyman said Baltimore is already working with Aspect Computing in the rollout of a Business Numbers application by the Australian Taxation Office.
Certificates Australia was presented with the accreditation this week by Senator Ian Campbell, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, under the Government's Gatekeeper strategy.
Other companies providing similar services are KPMG and Secure Network Solutions, which now owns the rights to Australia Post's KeyPost certificate authority. Palfreyman said Baltimore will assist the GPKA in building a competitive PKI market.
"Gatekeeper is only going to work if it's taken up by a lot of people," he said.
Palfreyman said that while the Government's Gatekeeper strategy is a step in the right direction he looks forward to the passage of the Attorney General's Electronic Commerce Bill, where there is a course of action in law for electronic signatures.