Boardroom
VeriSign

In The Boardroom With...

Mr. Mark McLaughlin
Executive Vice President, Products, Marketing, and Customer Care
VeriSign
www.VeriSign.com
Nasdaq:VRSN


SecurityStockWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Mark. You have a really interesting background: as a lawyer, experience in the military as an attack helicopter pilot, and, significant senior management positions in the business world. Please give us an overview of your background and your role with VeriSign.

Mark McLaughlin: My current role is Executive Vice President of the Products, Marketing, and Customer Care organization. I’m responsible for VeriSign's product strategy & development, corporate and product marketing, and customer care.

Since joining VeriSign in 2000, I have held the roles of Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Information Services Division, and Senior Vice President of our Registry Services business. I was also Vice President & General Manager of our payments business before it was sold to eBay.

Before I came to VeriSign, I was the vice president of sales and business development for Signio, a leading Internet payment company, and I was involved in the negotiation and acquisition of Signio by VeriSign in 2000. Before moving into business management, I was the general counsel of Caere Corporation, the world's leading OCR software company, and I also practiced law with Cooley Godward LLP (now Cooley Godward Kronish LLP), a leading high-technology law firm in Silicon Valley.

I have a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law and a B.S. Degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. I also served as an attack helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army.

SecurityStockWatch.com: One will read on www.VeriSign.com that, “VeriSign, Inc. operates digital infrastructure that enables and protects billions of interactions every day across the world’s voice and data networks. Every day, we process as many as 31 billion Internet interactions and support over 100 million phone calls.“ Please give our audience an overview of VeriSign solutions.

Mark McLaughlin: As you may know, we run the COM / NET Registry which is the authoritative registry for .com and .net domain names. In doing this, we manage relationships with more than 800 ICANN-accredited registrars who submit over 100 million domain name transactions daily. This requires an unbelievable level of operational performance as you could probably guess, yet we have continued to have 100% operational accuracy and stability in the registry for the past nine years. We’ve seen the overall number of domain names rise steadily for the last several years and we expect that trend to continue.

In addition to that, VeriSign is the leading secure sockets layer (SSL) Certificate Authority enabling secure e-commerce and communications for Web sites, intranets, and extranets. We are the trusted mark of high assurance for Internet security and we enable the strongest SSL encryption available in the marketplace. If you’re doing e-commerce today you really can’t operate without SSL encryption and the placement of a secured seal. Every market study we’ve done shows a significant drop in click-through and a rise in shopping cart abandonment when the secured seal is not posted.

We’ve also built solutions around a number of other things, including identity protection, messaging, connectivity and interoperability, and secure content delivery.

SecurityStockWatch.com: What are the target market drivers for VeriSign solutions and what is your perspective on the market drivers for VeriSign solutions at this time?

Mark McLaughlin: We certainly believe there are various market trends that are in our favor. First of all, the number of global internet users is rising at a good clip and we expect that to continue for the foreseeable future. The growth of e-commerce and online advertising are two other trends that definitely have a positive impact on our business. Right now we secure the majority of the e-commerce sites doing business on the web, including 93% of the Fortune 500. We expect that to continue. Finally, increasing penetration of broadband will help drive our business as more people are shopping online and spending more time online.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Congratulations on the recent announcement that VeriSign was selected by E*TRADE Australia to deploy extended validation SSL Certificates from VeriSign to help provide online retail customers with instantly recognizable confirmation that they have reached genuine E*TRADE Web pages, instead of counterfeit sites. Can you tell us more about the solution VeriSign provided here?

Mark McLaughlin: Extended validation SSL is one of our latest product innovations. Essentially users who have Internet Explorer 7 (and also upcoming releases of Firefox and Opera) will see their address bar turn green and display the name of the organization securing the site. For example, in this case when users visit www.etrade.com.au they will see the address bar turn green and show “Identified by VeriSign” in the security status bar. Our initial market tests have shown that 93% of internet users prefer to see this secure site when executing their online transactions, and that, in the online commerce world, 97% of shoppers will use their credit card when they see the green bar vs. only 63% without. We believe that online merchants will recognize that and see great value in our service offering.

SecurityStockWatch.com: We also understand that VeriSign has achieved an important “win” with eBay. Care to comment on the solution VeriSign provided there?

Mark McLaughlin: eBay is one of our anchor tenants for our VeriSign® Identity Protection Authentication Service (VIP). This service provides strong, visible security for online commerce applications. It allows a business to easily issue and/or accept multiple credentials from each user and is ideal for higher value, higher risk transactions. In particular, it is highly suitable for companies who want to add multi-factor authentication to their consumer-facing online applications, which can be costly and difficult to manage.

The least expensive way to add this multi-factor authentication is through the VIP Shared Authentication Network. In the VIP Shared Authentication Network, a site does not need to shoulder all burdens of development, customer support, and system maintenance. Instead, a site can join the VIP network as a relying party and simply rely on VIP credentials that have already been issued, paying a modest cost per user for validations only. A web site can add strong authentication with no additional shipping or customer support costs.

If a business is committed to strong authentication, then it can issue tokens that are usable on the VIP network. Issuers get all of the benefits of relying parties, plus lower transactional costs, opportunities to promote their brand through the token, and better control of their end customers’ web experiences. The real key here is that users will be able to use the same 2nd-factor authentication device wherever they see the VIP logo. As the VIP network grows the value to the end user and all the members will grow as well.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Are there one or two other success stories you’d like to mention?

Mark McLaughlin: We just did a joint press release with a company called DebtHelp.com. DebtHelp.com wanted to make sure that the information their website visitors entered into forms was genuinely transmitting to the authentic DebtHelp.com site and was not fraudulent. The solution was to deploy extended validation SSL Certificates. Since they did this, they saw an increase of 11 percent in online form completion, which they expect will contribute a five percent increase to overall company revenue in the next two years. Their president, John Turner, let us know that they saw a 16,000 % ROI on what they spent for the EV SSL certificate. Comments like that tell us we are really delivering on our goal of providing great value for our customers.

SecurityStockWatch.com: How about the Government space? Without divulging any sensitive information, of course, can you tell us about VeriSign’s solutions at the Department of Defense? Any other Government “wins” you’d like to mention?

Mark McLaughlin: I can tell you we are delivering our technology and services to enable a number of Federal agencies to comply with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12). HSPD-12 and its associated specification, Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS-201), mandate a common public key-based smart card identity credential for all Federal employees (this credential is referred to as the Personal Identity Verification, or PIV, card). VeriSign is the only vendor that provides both a smart card management system and a Shared Service Provider(SSP) Public Key Infrastructure(PKI) with an associated credential validation service.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Does VeriSign have any particular strategic relationships you'd like to talk about?

Mark McLaughlin: On the content delivery side, I should mention what we’re doing with BBC. They’ve launched what’s called the BBC iPlayer, which is an Internet based video on demand service that allows consumers to download a wide range of BBC television programs for free. Programs are made available seven days after a show had first been broadcast. After consumers download a program, they have 30 days to view it before the file is automatically deleted, and launched files delete themselves after viewing. Also, once a consumer downloads a show they don't have to be connected to the internet to watch it, choosing instead to watch in an 'offline' capacity. The service is available to anyone in the UK who holds a valid TV license, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 million households today. We're very proud that the service is being powered by VeriSign’s broadband content delivery services utilizing secure peer to peer technology.

SecurityStockWatch.com: What resources such as webinars, webcasts, “white papers” and “case studies” are available for end-users at www.VeriSign.com?

Mark McLaughlin: We really believe we’ve created a wealth of information on our website. Generally everywhere end-users click they’ll find related white papers which illuminate the value of our service offerings. In addition, we’ve developed a very interactive interface to our website which prompts the end user to have an instant online chat with a VeriSign expert when they spend a certain amount of time in a particular product area. We also have free webcasts and product demos that users can sign up for which many take advantage of.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Thanks again for joining us today, Mark. Are there any other subjects you’d like to discuss?

Mark McLaughlin: I’d also like to briefly discuss click.tv. This is a company that was founded in 2005 and headquartered in San Francisco, California. Click.TV has enjoyed rapid growth, due in part to the determination of founder and chief executive officer, Mike Lanza, to have a strong identity and brand name. Mike was looking for a name in the .com/.net space, but couldn’t really find anything available that would work for him. He came to us and we set up the click.tv name for him. .TV names are easily recognizable and give people the perception that a website is on the cutting edge, particularly with regard to rich media. It was also a very memorable name which created a strong brand, at an affordable price. We believe .TV has a clear value proposition as the domain name for rich media content and related services.