PKI for E-Government in Bulgaria

A national public key infrastructure will be implemented for e-government through strategic partnership between Utimaco Safeware and GlobalSign

Oberursel, August 7, 2001 – Utimaco Safeware and Information Services PLC, a wholly-owned IT subsidiary of the Bulgarian government, have signed a contract making Utimaco Safeware the prime contractor responsible for implementing a comprehensive security project for Bulgaria. Working together with a partner, GlobalSign, one of the leading European providers of PKI solutions and services, Utimaco Safeware will set up a security infrastructure for the e-government applications planned by the the Ministry of Finance of Bulgaria. In the initial level of expansion, approximately 65,000 certificates will be created by the end of this year, to enable companies to return their tax declarations, customs declarations and other interactions with the government, securely on the Internet. In one of the next steps the national trust center will supply digital certificates for the planned introduction of an electronic personal identity document for Bulgaria’s more than 8 million inhabitants.

The legal basis for the introduction of state certificate-based Internet services in Bulgaria was created in May this year when the country passed a national digital signature law. This law closely matches European signature guidelines. As a result, Bulgaria is now amongst the countries in Europe which currently have a digital signature law.

The creation of a trustworthy national security infrastructure in Bulgaria is an important milestone for the new government, for two reasons: it will make administration more efficient, because it is based on digital signatures, and it will speed up Bulgaria’s entry into the EU and NATO. For this ambitious project Utimaco Safeware is using its SafeGuard® PKI technology to provide the trust centers with security components used for user registration, key generation and certificate creation.

According to Norbert Pohlmann, Director of Utimaco Safeware, “Our open, flexible and easily-scalable PKI technology, and our alliance with GlobalSign, a partner with a great deal of expertise in PKI consultancy and certification services, were the factors that led our customer to choose us for the project. Not only can we provide our customers with future-proof technology but also bring the know-how necessary for implementing a complete PKI system.”

In its role as service provider, GlobalSign is responsible for all the organizational and legal tasks involved in implementing this complex PKI. Utimaco Safeware and GlobalSign are perfect strategic partners: due to their complementary activities they are in an ideal position to take on further joint PKI projects. Indeed, “there is strong tendency in sectors where highly confidential information is exchanged, to engage external PKI expertise for obvious reasons such as the complexity of PKI, lack of PKI specialists and time to market”, says Henri Minassian, Managing Director of GlobalSign.

Utimaco Safeware AG is the leading European manufacturer of professional and certified IT security solutions. Utimaco Safeware develops and sells integrated security solutions based on established standards regulating Mobile/Desktop Security and Internet Security. Utimaco Safeware’s Digital Transaction Security Competence Center builds on the E-commerce / Middleware expertise, which has been acquired since 1992. PKI has evolved from supporting Utimaco Safeware’s Public Key enabled Applications (PKAs) into a full blown PKI. Today, SafeGuard® PKI offers a solution to companies or organizations who need a flexible solution for their security policy, where the PKI is the infrastructure for enabling client security applications (PKA) from Utimaco, such as SafeGuard® Sign&Crypt, a third party or own developed; where scalability is required, where extensibility is guaranteed for future needs and where interoperability with other PKAs is important. Utimaco Safeware serves customers in government, banking and industry worldwide.

GlobalSign, a pioneer in the PKI business since 1996, is a fast-growing international Trust Service Provider, headquartered in Brussels. GlobalSign is active worldwide as a Certification Authority. GlobalSign develops flexible outsourced PKI-solutions, and offers certification services for e- and m-business. GlobalSign has developed an international Network of Trust throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. GlobalSign is also the official Certification Authority for the European Commission and works with strategic groups and associations such as, among others, EESSI and EEMA. GlobalSign’s shareholders are Vodafone Group Plc, Ubizen, ING-Barings, Bruficom, GIMV, Technicom and KBC Bank.

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