Baltimore’s Italian job

12 Feb 2003

Irish e-security firm and one-time FTSE 100 star Baltimore Technologies has scored two multi-million euro security deals with major Italian organisations, a subsidiary of Post Italiane and Telecom Italia.

The two breakthrough deals with the high profile organisations establishes Baltimore as a force to be reckoned with in terms of e-security in southern Europe.

As part of the deal with Telecom Italia’s IT division, Baltimore will provide IT Telecoms and its customers with public key infrastructure (PKI) security applications. The deal is increasingly significant because IT Telecoms owns one of the largest commercial certified authorities in Italy. Baltimore’s UniCert Technology will be used to issue digital certificates to IT Telecom’s external partners and vendors as well as customers of its fixed line and mobile telephone business units. IT Telecoms was established in January through the merger of Italian IT companies Netsiel, Saritel, Sodalia and Telesoft and the company has a 4,700-strong workforce.

“Further reinforcing our leading position in the Italian market, IT Telecom represents a significant milestone in extending our position in the Italian telecom sector,” says Pietro Riva, regional director of Baltimore’s southern European division.

In the second major deal with PosteCom, a Poste Italiane company, Baltimore was selected to provide its OmniRoot product as the root certificate authority to issue secure socket layer (SSL) certificates for its new web server security offering.

Postecom is one of Italy’s leading commercial certificate authorities and already uses Baltimore’s UniCert to provide PKI infrastructure to issue digital certificates in compliance with Italian digital signature law and the Authority for Computerisation in Public Administration. Postecom offers internet and intranet solutions for Poste Italiane Group’s corporate and public administration customers.

The new Postecert offering enables service providers and organisations to secure websites using the SSL protocol with 128-bit encryption. Baltimore is the only e-security vendor that allows a service provider to access its public root in order to issue digital certificates under its own brand in the commercial market.

The two deals mark further inroads into Baltimore’s Italian customer base. In December last year the company announced a major contract in the Italian financial sector to supply its Identrus compliant PKI system to Actalis and GUII, a group of Italy’s major banks. Other Baltimore customers in the Italian market include SOGEI (Italian Ministry of Finance), the Ministry of the Interior, TrenItalia, Infocamere (Italian Chamber of Commerce) and Intesa (Global Value).

By John Kennedy