World’s longest operating CA stands the test of time while innovating for the future
BOSTON, Mass., May 18, 2021 – Leading identity solutions provider GlobalSign is celebrating a significant milestone: 25 years as a Certificate Authority (CA). Since GlobalSign began operating in 1996 out of a small office in Belgium, the company has grown from just a few employees to becoming one of the world’s top CAs. It has expanded from that office to nine worldwide, with more than 550 employees in more than a dozen countries. Despite many shifts in the industry throughout the years, GlobalSign is now the world’s longest-operating CA, and a respected leader in identity verification and Certificate Lifecycle Management.
Originally established as BelSign, the company’s genesis can be traced to when the first “root” was created in 1996, limited to 512-bit RSA keys, using the CryptWare Server as a signing engine. Within two years the company had developed its own engine (‘Phoenix’), changed roots and developed into the GlobalSign network as part of its international expansion strategy in August 1998, with a strong European basis. GlobalSign was able to embed the "GlobalSign Root CA" in both Netscape and Microsoft Windows 2000, giving full ubiquity to the roots, allowing the company to begin selling SSL certificates. In 2007, GlobalSign began to offer document signing certificates under the Adobe CDS (now AATL) program. In that year GlobalSign was acquired by GMO Group in Tokyo, where the company is headquartered today.
In 2012, the company began adapting to new industry regulations such as NAESB in the U.S. wholesale electric market, and later in 2020 by becoming a Trust Service Provider capable of issuing a number of qualified certificate types including Qualified Web Authentication, QTSA, electronic signatures and seal certificates.
“Since our company’s initial founding, there has been sweeping change in the overall security industry. Through it all, BelSign and then GlobalSign – which is founded on Public Key Infrastructure -- has enabled tens of thousands of companies to protect identity, websites, ecommerce transactions, code and more,” said Lila Kee, General Manager, North and South America, GlobalSign. “We’ve also now built a powerful cloud that is capable of securing a billion endpoints. We have proven that it is robust enough to produce results of this magnitude.”
Through the years GlobalSign has reached numerous significant milestones, including:
- The first CA to improve revocation checking for HTTPS pages through the use of a CDN
- The first CA to offer IPv6 compliant revocation services
- One of the first global CA’s to become a Trust Service Provider
- Issuing 50 million digital signatures via our Digital Signing Service
“Looking to the future, we will see an increased adoption of our certificates protecting the identity of IoT devices, our digital signatures will help secure remote workers to keep business moving and SMIME encryption will continue to keep email safe to prevent phishing. And by year’s end we could very well meet our goal of securing a billion endpoints.”
Please visit GlobalSign’s new interactive 25th anniversary webpage where you will discover a GlobalSign timeline infographic, employee interviews, as well as noteworthy technology and cybersecurity facts spanning the last 25 years.
About GMO GlobalSign
As one of the world’s most deeply-rooted certificate authorities, GlobalSign is the leading provider of trusted identity and security solutions enabling businesses, large enterprises, cloud-based service providers, and IoT innovators worldwide to conduct secure online communications, manage millions of verified digital identities and automate authentication and encryption. Its high-scale PKI and identity solutions support the billions of services, devices, people, and things comprising the IoT. A subsidiary of Japan-based GMO GlobalSign Holdings K.K and GMO Internet Group, GMO GlobalSign has offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit https://www.globalsign.com.
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