The two companies will use digital certificates that verify identities and provide a secure way for customers to use new applications Dow Jones is developing, including real-time and historical data, news and commentary, analytical tools, and transactional and risk-management services.
Digital certificates, also known as digital IDs, provide a means to validate a person's identity for electronic commerce. Digital certificates include a user's name, public encryption key, and a digitized signature.
Today's news follows a number of other deals with financial service firms. Last month, online stock brokerage E*Trade said it would provide its customers with digital certificates from VeriSign to simplify online securities trading. VeriSign also has deals with Visa and other credit card companies to allow consumers to buy safely over the Net.
Richard Yanowitch, VeriSign's vice president of marketing, says that financial companies like Dow Jones are the first to buy into the importance of digital IDs.
"For them, security is paramount," he said. "Financial services firms [banks, brokerages, and information providers] tend to be the innovators in terms of technology. They are willing to invest more in technology as a protective weapon."
Once the certification system is in place, VeriSign will operate a digital ID center for Dow Jones. VeriSign will be responsible for the management and issuance of digital certificates to Dow Jones customers globally, as well as renewal, revocation, privacy, and network security.