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Certinomis, the French certification authority, calls on Bull to help secure its business activities

Posted on 14 December 2009 by Pierre Picard


MetaPKI, an innovative solution delivered as an outsourced service

As more and more business processes are computerized, digital certificates have become the essential component used to secure exchanges. In effect, they enable services such as user authentication, non-repudiation of transactions and confidentiality of exchanges to form an integral part of the information system.

This is the core business of Certinomis, a Certification Authority and subsidiary of Docapost, the holding company for the solutions and documentation services companies of La Poste, the French Post Office. Certinomis, which was established in 2000, uses its full range of skills to support businesses, financial institutions and public sector organizations; offering them a full range of digital certificates.

To respond to the demands of a market that is undergoing radical restructuring and take on board the new general security database (the référentiel général de sécurité or RGS) set up by the French government, Certinomis wanted to rework its production system. The biggest challenge, for a general certification authority, is crucial: ensuring it is fully aligned with standard security requirements and practices, building a system that is flexible enough to keep up to date with the numerous changes in the market…

Experts at every stage in the value chain

Certinomis turned to Bull for this project, which required both the ability to understand its business challenges, in-depth technical expertise and rigorous project management. Bull met these expectations by putting forward a hosted solution based on MetaPKI, its digital certificate management software. For Certinomis, this end-to-end approach to service delivery precisely met its needs for access to a flexible solution that would adapt to a market undergoing profound transformation, while at the same time benefiting from high levels of service, to meet the demands of its business.
For its part MetaPKI, as a solution aimed at ensuring trust, features a high level of robustness. It also interfaces perfectly with Certinomis’ production tools, which enables all PKI functionality to be activated and every kind of certificate required by Certinomis to be effectively managed. MetaPKI is combined with Bull’s solution for producing certificate storage media, and is also fully integrated with Bull TrustWayTM encryption devices.

Responsiveness: the key to this successful partnership

The project faced extremely tight timescales, but it is now fully operational. Bull’s experts have drawn on their expertise of the regulatory and technical issues involved to support Certinomis in its approach to formalizing the requirements under the RGS regime, especially all the necessary technical documentation. Certinomis is now also able to deliver ready-to-use digital certificates to its customers, thanks to a central key generation system implemented by Bull.
Today, Bull is supporting Certinomis as it follows the changes in the marketplace, by adapting its trust infrastructure to meet new requirements. As François Chassery, Commercial Director at Certinomis, sums up: “The IT infrastructure has to evolve constantly. The responsiveness of Bull’s teams and their ability to put forward good solutions to cope with that evolution are helping us roll out our market plan for the coming years.”

MetaPKI is Bull’s comprehensive software solution for creating digital certificates and managing them throughout their life-cycle. Because it is a modular system, it provides a flexible and scalable solution that adapts closely to any kind of requirement: for new types of certificates, new management processes, changes in the way services are organized, new Certifying Authority…

MetaPKI is also available in hosted mode, from Bull’s highly secure Data Centers, for maximum flexibility.

For more information, download “MetaPKI: Creating and managing secure identities” >>

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