Verizon Business to Provide Security Services to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Up to half a million employees and contractors for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will swap their traditional IDs for managed smart cards provided by Verizon Business under a contract announced Wednesday (May 21). The new identity credentialing service is designed to address new federal guidelines to enhance security and reduce identity fraud.

The contract, estimated at $6.1 million including the initial one-year term and two optional extensions, represents one of the largest deployments of identity credentialing to date under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12.  

The directive's guidelines require that identification issued to gain access to facilities and IT systems be based on sound criteria for verifying an individual employee's identity; is strongly resistant to identity fraud, tampering, counterfeiting and exploitation by terrorists; can be rapidly authenticated electronically; and is issued only by providers whose reliability has been established through an official accreditation process.

Verizon Business will host and manage the Veterans Affairs credential solutions in a secure Verizon Business data center that is supported 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with critical services backed up by redundant systems.

"Security challenges continue to change and grow, as does the complexity of compliance with regulations to meet these challenges, " said Susan Zeleniak, group president, Verizon Federal, a sales organization within Verizon Business dedicated to serving federal government customers. "In July 2007, Verizon Business acquired Cybertrust, a leading provider of global information security services including identity management. Our combined experience positions us to help federal agencies meet the new security requirements."

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest civilian federal agency and serves the nation's veterans and their families, providing medical care, benefits and social support. Services and benefits are provided through a nationwide network of hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, residential rehabilitation treatment programs, readjustment counseling centers, veterans benefits offices and national cemeteries.

"Verizon Business has been a leader in providing security services to governments around the world," said Kerry Bailey, vice president of Verizon Business Security Solutions.  "With more than 15 years of experience assessing risk and designing and implementing global security solutions, Verizon Business is one of the few providers that offer both the security and government expertise to deliver a full credentialing service."

Verizon Business, one of the largest providers of communications services to the U.S. federal government, serves virtually every federal agency.  Government agencies and enterprises rely on Verizon Business to help them manage security risk and protect critical company assets.  Verizon Business Security Solutions offers a comprehensive portfolio of security services that include threat and vulnerability management; identity management; security and compliance programs; and security strategy and consultation.  The more than 1,100 security professionals around the globe deliver these offerings through a range of managed services, professional services and products. 

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), operates the world's most connected public IP network and uses its industry-leading global-network capabilities to offer large-business and government customers an unmatched combination of security, reliability and speed.  The company integrates advanced IP communications and information technology (IT) products and services to deliver leading enterprise solutions including managed services, security, mobility, collaboration and professional services.  These solutions power innovation and enable the company's customers to do business better. For more information, visit www.verizonbusiness.com.