Main Nav

Developing a Certification Authority for PKI at Virginia Tech

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Abstract

Virginia Tech began to explore how to integrate digital certificates into our infrastructure services after the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Council on Technology Services’ Privacy, security, and Access work group initiated discussions on digital signatures and public key infrastructure (PKI) in 1999. Virginia Tech’s Information Resource Management department conducted research on PKI and smart card technologies, with pilot projects that evaluated commercial software from Baltimore Technologies, Entrust, VeriSign, Microsoft, and open source solutions using OpenCA. Smart cards and tokens were tested from companies including Gemplus, Schlumberger, Dallas Semiconductor, Axalto, Maganet, and Aladdin. The research and pilot projects resulted in the establishment of the Virginia Tech Certification Authority (VTCA) in 2003.

The initial VTCA used OpenCA software on a combination of IBM and Dell servers running RedHat linux, with a hardware security module (HSM) certified at FIPS 140-2 Level 3. This infrastructure was upgraded in August, 2010, to use the Enterprise Java Beans Certificate Authority (EJBCA), running on Dell servers. EJBCA is an Enterprise class Open Source PKI certificate authority built on JEE technology. The transition to EJBCA and the addition of another production HSM to provide failover capability gave Virginia Tech the ability to scale its PKI to a 24x7 operation to meet the university’s growing demand for digital certificates.

Download This Resource

Tags from the EDUCAUSE Library

Close
Close


EDUCAUSE Connect
View dates and locations

Events for all Levels and Interests

Whether you're looking for a conference to attend face-to-face to connect with peers, or for an online event for team professional development, see what's upcoming.

Close

EDUCAUSE Institute
Leadership/Management Programs
Explore More

Career Center


Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management

 

 

Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.

 

Close
EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas

 

 

Join These Programs If Your Focus Is

Close

Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.
 

 

Close

2014 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations


Learn More >

Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.