DFN-CERT Secures E-Mail Lists of European IT Security Experts with Zertificon Solutions

Berlin/Germany, February 22, 2005 – The Computer Emergency Rescue Team (CERT) for the German “Forschungsnetz” (research network) has decided to adopt the SecureMail Gateway by Zertificon Solutions for implementing encrypted mailing lists.

By providing processed information about new security risks and support in case of attacks, CERT makes an important contribution to raising security standards in the field of information technology. The basis for implementing preventive measures and swiftly reacting to critical situations is the timely availability of authentic information.

The key word here is “information sharing”. Thus, in the framework of the German CERT network as well as the European CERT community, the DFN-CERT engages in a continuous expansion of mutual cooperation amongst the teams. Within this environment, a sensible exchange of information can only take place on a firm basis of trust. Information about new security risks, means and ways of attacks and results of analyses have to remain confidential for the time being so as to protect all participants from hacker exploit. In order to minimize the potential damage, the manufacturer of software must be given the time required to upgrade his product as well.

Experience has shown that bulky and unwieldy encryption solutions limit the amount of information exchange. With the Z1 SecureMail Gateway, encrypted mailing lists now become available, facilitating, amongst other things, the exchange of confidential information significantly.

In practice, it works as follows: an IT security specialist sends an e-mail, encrypted with PGP or S/MIME, to the mailing list. The message is received by the Z1 SecureMail Gateway, gets deciphered automatically, and passed on to the mailing list software which in turn sends the message to a predefined group of users. Subsequently, the Z1 SecureMail Gateway encrypts the outgoing e-mail automatically, according to the security policy employed. As it “unpacks” and/or “envelopes” the electronic mail, the Z1 SecureMail Gateway is also referred to as a virtual admin office.

About DFN-CERT Services GmbH

On behalf of the “DFN-Verein der deutschen Forschungs- und Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft” (DFN Association of the German Research and Science Community), the DFN-CERT Services GmbH offers multi-faceted help and support in securing networks, IT systems and applications. Since 1993 the concept “help for self-help” has been continuously expanded and upgraded. Today the range of services offered includes, amongst other things, a warning alert and information service in case of new security risks and network-wide attacks, as well as a public key infrastructure with different levels of security, allowing for the issuance of advanced digital certificates for securing authentic and confidential information. The DFN-CERT is still prepared to give “First Aid” to those concerned, in case of actual events, e. g. attacks on a web server or new computer worms, by providing suggestions on how to act, or support for the analysis. Currently the team consists of 17 staff, working in concert with other national and international teams; amongst others, it actively initiated the foundation of the German CERT network.

About Zertificon Solutions:

Zertificon Solutions develops software for simplification and facilitation of security functions in electronic business processes and communications. The IT security products are designed for users in companies and institutions of all sizes and industries and stand out from the competition due to their comfortable and easy operation. The core product Z1 SecureMail Gateway protects the entire e-mail traffic of an organization by employing central encryption techniques and electronic signatures. The Z1 SecureMail Gateway is the leading European software with the most reference installations. Distribution and technical support is being provided by qualified and dedicated distribution partners. The software solutions Z1 Backbone of Trust, a central system for the management of public certificates, Z1 Mobile SmartCard and Z1 FileProtector, a program for data encryption, are being distributed within the framework of internal projects. Zertificon Solutions´ customers include leading investment and savings banks, insurance companies, numerous suppliers in the automotive and electrical industry, lottery companies, as well as institutions and administrations at community, state and federal level.


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