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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Baltimore Technologies Plc has released a new version of its security infrastructure software designed to enable the deployment of public-key enabled applications. The financially troubled security software company has added "cloning" and XKMS (XML Key Management Specification) support to version 5.0 of its UniCert PKI product.

Dublin, Ireland-based Baltimore said the cloning functionality is targeted at service providers and large organizations in the financial services, government and telecommunication markets. It enables organizations to extend the capacity of a certificate authority or registration authority to manage any volume of certificates.

Meanwhile the support for XKMS enables companies to build security into web services. With UniCert XKMS Server, which will be available in July, Baltimore is shifting processing from client-side business applications to a centralized server component, enabling XML-aware applications to access PKI security services.

Other new features in UniCert 5.0, which is available now on Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Unix, include customized registration fields for digital certificate requests and support for publishing user and certificate information to LDAP directories, including Microsoft Active Directory.

Balitmore will be hoping that the latest release triggers a change in its fortunes. After restructuring and cutting 500 jobs in the last year, the company has worked to rebuild itself around its core pillars of authentication and authorization solutions based on digital certificates, and PKI. After posting a six-fold widening of pre-tax losses to 652.8 pounds ($933.5m) for its last full financial year, Baltimore postponed its expected break-even point until the second quarter of next year, and is now looking increasingly vulnerable.

Last month, the company sold its Sydney-based Australian subsidiary to local security company SecureNet Ltd, bringing in up to 2.1m pounds ($3m) cash, but securing distribution services for Australia, New Zealand, and other parts of the Asia-Pacific region.

The company also sold the bulk of its majority holding in its Japanese distributor, Baltimore Technologies Japan (BTJ), to investment company CGI Ltd for JPY 900m ($6.75m) in February 2002. Baltimore retained a 19% stake in BTJ, which has a 12-year exclusive license to distribute its products in the Japanese market. Its Content Technologies subsidiary, meanwhile, was sold to content filtering specialist Clearswift Corp for 20.5m pounds ($30m) in January 2002.

© ComputerWire.

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