Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Getting a Commercial Digital Certificate

I need to acquire a digital certificate to be used for encrypting files prior to uploading it to a bank's online service. Three commercial Certificate Authorities (CAs) were recommended by the bank, namely: Entrust, Thawte and Verisign.

I was given six (6) characteristics of what I should be looking for. These items cover specs like the type of MDA, encryption algo, key size, certificate export formats, etc. Couldn't I just have the SKU number?

An SKU would have been most useful. The CA websites and storefronts were basically stocked with a slew of server SSL products -- my digital certificate is buried in some obscure page somewhere. Before I entirely lost my shopping appetite, Verisign's livechat popped into peripheral view. Good thing! I was about to put this off for another day.

After a couple of minutes, I got my answer. I need a Class 1 Digital ID and the product page is tucked here. Thawte has a livechat button, too -- but after three reps and twice the wait, I was informed politely that Thawte does not sell client certificates for commercial use. Entrust has no livechat and email response is rather sluggish.

You can purchase a Verisign Digital ID online for US$19.95 per year. A 60-day trial is also available for free. International customers, though, are served by the VeriSign Trust Network of International affiliates. That's me! I pray that dealing with their local affiliate is just as breezy.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Obtaining a digital certificate is a very time consuming task and lot of things need to be considered. You have highlighted some very good points which I will remember and consider while making a purchase.
digital certificate