Verizon Business Secures Contract With Commonwealth of Virginia to Provide 'Smart' Credentials

When disaster strikes, deploying the right personnel to the right location at the right time can save lives. Under a new three-year contract, Verizon Business is providing the commonwealth of Virginia with "smart credentialing" services that will enable authorities to electronically confirm the identities and skills of emergency responders arriving at a disaster scene.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon underscored the need for this capability when state and local emergency officials in Virginia responding to the attack encountered on-scene-access problems.

With Verizon's First Responder Authentication Credentialing solution, the commonwealth can make sure that only those individuals who have had their identities and skill sets electronically authenticated can enter a designated area to perform specific tasks.  For instance, based on credentialing and electronic verification, a police officer would be able to verify the identity and skill sets of an emergency responder from an outside jurisdiction and make an informed decision on granting access to the responder.

"When saving minutes can mean saving lives, it is important to be prepared," said Blair Crump, Verizon Business president of worldwide sales. "Using smart credentialing to help facilitate the first-responder process goes a long way to ensure the best possible outcome during any disaster - manmade or natural."

Verizon Business is providing the commonwealth with identity credentials that are interoperable with the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201.  FIPS 201 was developed to support Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), the presidential mandate establishing common identification requirements for federal executive branch employees and contractors.  The commonwealth's deployment was facilitated by the recent federal interoperability guidelines - Personal Identification Verification Interoperability (PIV-I) - that make it easier for state agencies and federal agencies outside of the federal executive branch to deploy smart credentials that are interoperable with federal systems.

"Our goal is to use FIPS 201 technology to deploy a credential that is interoperable at all levels using the standard," said Mike McAllister, deputy assistant to the governor for commonwealth preparedness. "This credential enhances not only Virginia's response and recovery efforts, but those of the nation as well, so that credentialing no longer delays those efforts in any scenario requiring the deployment of emergency responders."

The commonwealth is leveraging Verizon Identity Managed Service Offering (ID-MSO), a managed end-to-end credentialing solution.  The solution enables the commonwealth to sponsor, enroll, issue and maintain identity credentials for each unique user through one single system.  Verizon - an accredited certification authority - issues the credentials and provides electronic validation services to ensure that the credentials are reliable and secure.

Verizon Business is working on the project with key vendors including ActivIdentity Corporation, CoreStreet - An ActivIdentity Company, DAP Technologies, Oberthur Technologies and Probaris Inc.

Verizon Business is a leader in helping government agencies and enterprises manage security risk and protect assets.  Its robust portfolio of security solutions includes governance risk and compliance solutions, data loss and prevention solutions, identity management solutions, and managed security services.  More information is available by visiting http://www.verizonbusiness.com/us/products/security .

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with one of the world's most connected IP networks to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions. We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees - enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment. Many of the world's largest businesses and governments - including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions - rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.