AT&T to use Novell service to provide enterprise-wide data security



AT&T to use Novell service to provide enterprise-wide data security.

BALTIMORE -- AT&T today announced enhancements to its SecretAgent® software that will allow private and public sector organizations to secure their data more cost effectively using a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

Offered by AT&T Defense Markets, SecretAgent provides encryption and digital signature capabilities across various operating system environments. It secures and authenticates files and electronic mail on an enterprise-wide level, and works with other cryptographic devices, such as the National Security Agency's FORTEZZA card and the DataKey SmartCard. Now, SecretAgent will support the storage and retrieval of public keys and certificates using Novell Directory® Services (NDS).

Public key encryption technologies and techniques, in both hardware and software, have received strong support from government and industry standards groups as preferred methods to establish privacy and authentication of digital files for transmission ad storage. A public key is a computer-generated number, which is part of a public-private key pair, associated with a single user. The public key can be distributed to a user's correspondents to encrypt digital files that can be decrypted only with the user's private key or number.

PKI components include Certification Authorities (CA), Organizational Registration Authorities (ORA) and a directory service, which is essential to the distribution and management of user public keys. The CA and ORA are responsible for identifying users to their respective public keys, and issuing and revoking public key certificates.

AT&T's SecretAgent, enabled for NDS, offers an effective, affordable alternative to purchasing an entirely new X.500-compliant directory system as part of an enterprise-wide PKI. The use of NDS to store and retrieve certificates and keys means network administrators and security personnel can manage keys and certificates in their existing networking environment. It is estimated that of the 60 million Novell users worldwide, about 17 million have access to NDS.

The enhanced product, which will be available in mid-1998, stores and retrieves keys and certificates in Novell Inc.'s universal directory service for business intranets and the Internet. The NDS support for open Internet and directory standards accelerates and simplifies the creation of directory-enabled applications. Novell has announced plans to deliver NDS to run on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows(tm) NT operating environment, and is working with other vendors such as Santa Cruz Operations to provide NDS for UNIX platforms.

Initially, the modified SecretAgent will support Windows platforms. "AT&T is working with Novell to ensure that this capability is quickly available to Novell NetWare and NDS customers," said Bill Franklin, new business development manager for AT&T.

Michael L. Simpson, director of marketing for Novell's Internet Infrastructure Division, said, "Secure Internet communications will be based on public key cryptography and certificates. The AT&T SecretAgent initiative is an excellent example of how NDS can be used as a foundation for building new applications, such as secure Internet and intranet solutions."

Currently supporting more than 50,000 users, SecretAgent secures numerous government and commercial applications. AT&T also is working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish technical standards for a government-wide PKI. AT&T sells SecretAgent in individual user packages, multi-user packs and enterprise licenses, with appropriate discounts for volume purchases.

Based in Washington, AT&T Defense Markets offers leading-edge communications and networking solutions to federal and state and local government agencies.

Novell (NASDAQ:NOVL) is the world's leading network software provider. Novell software provides the infrastructure for a networked world, enabling customers to connect with other people and the information they need, any time and any place. Novell partners with other technology and market leaders to help customers make networks a part of their everyday lives.