Enterprise Security 10-14-2015

What the Acquisition of Cybertrust Roots Means for DigiCert Customers

Ben Wilson

On June 23, 2015, DigiCert announced the acquisition of Cybertrust Root Certification Authorities, previously held by Verizon Enterprise Solutions.  At that time, we explained that the acquisition would provide those customers with innovative certificate management tools and industry-leading customer service, among other benefits.

The purpose of this post is to explain more about the benefits of the Cybertrust roots and what this means for existing DigiCert customers.

First and foremost, while the DigiCert High Assurance EV Root CA was already cross-certified with the GTE Cybertrust Global Root and the Baltimore Cybertrust Root, the addition of these two Cybertrust roots allow DigiCert to continue to provide its customers with a shorter certificate chain and a broader set of solutions, including greater interoperability and support for legacy devices and systems.

With DigiCert’s acquisition of the GTE Cybertrust Global Root, which has been globally trusted since 1998, and the Baltimore Cybertrust Root (valid until 2025), we augmented the solution set provided by DigiCert’s 2006 roots with greater ubiquity for devices produced between 1998 through 2006. Some of these devices are difficult—if not impossible—to update with new root certificates, but they already have the GTE Cybertrust Global Root and the Baltimore Cybertrust Root, which fill a gap for DigiCert and its customers when supporting those devices, and they still prove useful to the customers of our customers (e.g., users with mobile devices with the embedded older root certificates who want to connect to our customers’ sites).

The types of devices supported with the GTE Cybertrust Global Root and the Baltimore Cybertrust Root range from cell phones and handheld gaming devices to firewalls, network hardware, and video conferencing systems. All of these Internet-enabled systems need to communicate securely using the authentication and encryption services provided by the SSL/TLS protocol. These two Cybertrust Roots are inherently trusted by such devices. Websites and servers catering to these types of legacy devices will be able to continue the same level of secure service by obtaining certificates that chain to these roots.

In conclusion, throughout the remaining lifetimes of these two roots—2018 for the GTE Cybertrust Global Root and 2025 for the Baltimore Cybertrust Root—DigiCert will be providing customers with solutions for devices that trust either of these two roots. Moreover, the Cybertrust roots will provide additional market coverage as DigiCert builds newer, advanced PKI solutions to meet the challenges we will face over the next several decades.


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