The SPKI project manages the hardware, software, and procedures associated with the use of digital certificates for email and authentication at Sandia. We operate a Certificate Authority (CA) that is cross certified with the Department of Energy Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), allowing DOE-wide trust of Sandia-issued certificates.
If you are partnering with Sandia and need to exchange encrypted email you will need a digitial identity, that is, a certificate. Members, side-by-side contractors, and Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) site employees of the DOE can get certificates by requesting what is frequently called an "Entrust" account (more) from their site PKI office.
Sandia also trusts all certificates that are issued by certificate authorities that are part of the Federal Public Key Infrastructure (FPKI). The FPKI includes agencies like the Department of Defense, NASA, the Department of Treasury and many others. PIV and CAC card certificates are trusted throughout the FPKI, so Federal employees having PIV or CAC cards can use those cards' certificates as well to exchange encrypted email.
If you have a certificate that has been issued by trusted certificate authority you can use it to exchange encrypted email with Sandia, but you must provide your certificate to your Sandia partner and you will need the certificate of your Sandia contact. (See the FAQ entry "How do we exchange certificates?")
If you do not have a certificate, the SPKI Project recommends you purchase a certificate through the Department of Defense External Certificate program. This program provides industry partners and other external entities with certificates that can be used to securely communicate with the DoD. Sandia also trusts these certificates, so an ECA certificate provides you with a certificate you can use to communicate securely to multiple agencies.