DigiCert QuoVadis

News and Events

QuoVadis Commences Operations
23 Mar 2001

With an assured click on the computer, Bermuda’s Minister of Telecommunications and e-Commerce The Hon Ms. Renee Webb electronically signed the proclamation of QuoVadis Limited’s system commissioning and commercial launch.

Earlier in the day, QuoVadis issued its first Bermuda-based digital certificates to Minister Webb and a group of international executives. QuoVadis is the world’s first offshore commercial digital certificate authority (or CA) having signed its root systems on March 19, 2001.

Digital certificates are a form of secure electronic ID used on corporate and institutional networks to identify users and protect content. Known as public key infrastructure (or PKI), the technology is used online to enable strong access control, privacy, authentication of users, integrity of data, and non-repudiation. PKI also provides the mechanism for legally enforceable electronic signatures.

According to QuoVadis CEO Tony Nagel, “Bermuda and other offshore centers are focal points in the development of international e-business. Many local operations sit at the hub of business networks that extend around the world, dealing with high value transactions and confidential transfers of information. Use of a Bermuda certificate authority increases the overall security of our clients’ businesses and reinforces their affiliation to their preferred offshore regulatory, legal, and fiscal environment.”

QuoVadis is using e-security technology from Baltimore Technologies, a global leader in e-security. “While the Internet itself may be borderless, business is not -- businesses want to align with the legal, tax, and regulatory frameworks of certain countries whether or not they are in the real world or cyberspace. Baltimore Technologies is pleased to work with QuoVadis in creating a commercial security service for Bermuda and other countries in the offshore world,” said Aidan Gallagher, Executive Vice President of Global Business Development for Baltimore Technologies.

Ernst & Young served as the company’s key advisor on strategic and policy issues. “Ernst & Young is proud to serve as QuoVadis’ trusted business advisor,” says Cam Johnston a Partner in the Security and Technology Solutions practice. “Sophisticated technology is not enough to support trust in e-business. QuoVadis has developed a world class trust service that includes the legal and operating framework to help companies integrate PKI into both their applications and their businesses.”

In 1999, Bermuda was one of the first jurisdictions worldwide to enact legislation dealing with the formation of electronic contracts and the validity of digital signatures. Long a home to leading insurance and investment companies, the island now hosts a growing convergence of global e-business companies and service providers.

Minister Webb stated “The launch of QuoVadis invigorates Bermuda’s e-commerce vision by making offshore PKI available on a commercial basis for the first time ever. We are also pleased to announce that QuoVadis will apply to become Bermuda’s first authorized Certification Service Provider when its security accreditations are complete.”

Given the technical complexity and risk management issues of running a Certificate Authority, many organizations prefer to outsource their PKI needs to “Trusted Third Parties” like QuoVadis. With its critical mass and PKI specialization, QuoVadis offers several options for organizations to outsource their digital certification needs, including custom hosted CAs.

In addition, QuoVadis offers a suite of trust products to assist clients in taking full advantage of PKI across their business. These include options for secure e-mail and web forms, access control, VPNs, smartcards, and others. The company has already commenced pilot implementations with several Bermuda-based companies and is developing vertical solutions with other industry-specific partners.

QuoVadis operates from a purpose-built secure data bunker located in Bermuda with highly resilient technical systems and telecommunications. “QuoVadis has developed a tailored trust model for the offshore world” said Stephen Davidson, Vice President of QuoVadis. “We are now developing peer certificate authorities in other offshore jurisdictions to facilitate the inter-relationships between our customers and their clients, employees, and business partners.”

QuoVadis’ equity partners include e-VentureCentre, an incubator specialized in offshore e-business infrastructure, and several international investors. e-VentureCentre is a joint venture between the Centre Group (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services) and Paragon Bermuda (a consultancy in e-commerce strategy and development).