market, announced two potentially significant inroads into East European banking and electronic commerce.
The British-Irish vendor, trying to assure a place for itself alongside Verisign Inc. and Entrust Technologies Inc. as one of the best-known names in Internet authentication technology, signed deals with the largest bank in Poland and a top systems provider to Russian financial institutions.
These combine with other recent moves, including Baltimore's selection by "global trust infrastructures" such as the multinational banking joint venture Identrus, to contribute to a sense of momentum in tandem with completion of its public financing this week.
In cooperation with the Polish software company Softbank SA, Baltimore landed a contract with PKO BP to secure communications among branches and internal departments.
Aidan Gallagher, Baltimore's executive vice president of global business development, said PKO BP is the latest example of a bank "playing a driving role in the adoption of e-business."
The Warsaw-based bank said it will rely on Baltimore's Unicert public key infrastructure, or PKI, system and a Polish-language version of MailSecure software, initially to issue digital certificates to more than 800 employees. The certificates will authenticate the identities and communications of people on an electronic mail network.
PKO BP, which employs 40,000, expects to put 5,000 on the MailSecure system -- a relatively modest internal application of digital certificates with a foundation for larger-scale expansion.
Jack Pulwarski, the bank's director of information technology, described the Baltimore PKI as "a comprehensive solution offering a flexible, scalable structure that is ideally suited to our enterprise security requirements. We are confident that (Baltimore) will continue to deliver advanced security solutions as our needs expand."
Meanwhile, S&T Technoserv Leasing Moscow has joined the Baltimore TrustedWorld Partner Program as part of an agreement to rely on the Dublin-based company's PKI products and cryptographic development tools in serving Russian financial institutions.
S&T, a systems integration company, expects to deploy digital certificates and related technologies in such areas as e-mail, remote Internet access, and virtual private networks.
"We strongly believe that this alliance will enable us to accelerate the adoption of electronic business by Russia's financial community," said S&T chief executive officer Alexi Ananiev. With Baltimore's PKI among S&T's offerings, "we are uniquely positioned to ensure that our Russian customers have access to proven security solutions that have been deployed by leading organizations worldwide."
An international presence and the ability to interoperate with other vendors' certificate-issuance systems, known as certificate authorities, or CAs, are crucial to Baltimore's credibility, and its competitors'. Baltimore has been chosen to manage the top of the certificate hierarchy -- the root CA -- for the New York-based Identrus consortium's pilot phase. And this month, Baltimore announced that it was chosen as CA for an international authentication program called WiseKey.
The WiseKey system is at the heart of CBL Worldkey LLC, a joint venture of the investment firm Credit Bancorp Ltd. and WiseTrust SA that aims to provide a high-level, cross-vendor certification system for commerce of all kinds.
The WiseKey common global root certificate service is maintained in a bunker in the Swiss Alps. The system meets specifications of the International Telecommunications Union that were designed to link developed and emerging markets via the Internet, "not just as an e-commerce vehicle but also in virtual trading, telemedicine, and distance education," said CBL WorldKey CEO Richard J. Blech.
CBL WorldKey aims to enhance the standard digital signatures with "any number of user-selected and authenticated attributes that make each trading environment secure," Mr. Blech said. Those attributes could include credit limits, pending lawsuits, blood types -- anything required to secure an on-line transaction.
"The establishment of the first geopolitical root CA" was designed to accommodate the rapid growth of countries, industries, and corporations setting up certificate authorities, said Malcom Hutchinson, CEO of the World Internet Secure Electronic Key Organization, or WiseKey. "Our choice of Baltimore Technologies was based on their exceptional reputation as the security provider of choice for commercial CAs worldwide. The open-standards-based design and scalability of Unicert ideally matched our stringent security requirements for this initiative."
Baltimore had yet another European win to report in mid-October -- a license of the Unicert CA system to DigiNotar of the Netherlands. DigiNotar is an initiative of the Royal Dutch Notary Society to extend its conventional identity and trust services to the Internet through a national network of trusted third parties.
Baltimore and DigiNotar said one example of their collaboration would be in the electronic exchange of official land registration documents in property sales.
Baltimore raised $160 million this week as it listed on the Nasdaq market under the symbol BALT.
"We have pretty aggressive expansion plans," said Patrick Holahan, executive vice president of marketing. "Our sales and marketing expansion in the United States is allowing us to do things quicker, better, and faster," he said. The U.S. operations, centered in Boston, employ 60 people. Mr. Holahan also said Baltimore would consider mergers and acquisitions. "There is a real thirst for knowledge of PKI," he said.
In an effort to quench that thirst, next week Baltimore will hold its first Global e-Security convention in Dublin, where it expects 600 guests and 30 exhibiting vendors. Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Isocor, and Gemplus are principal sponsors.
Carol Power contributed to this article.