Electronic Commerce: Data Security Vendors Banking on Alliances

By Kutler, Jeffrey | American Banker, February 9, 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Electronic Commerce: Data Security Vendors Banking on Alliances

Kutler, Jeffrey, American Banker

By JEFFREY KUTLER It did not take Equifax Inc.'s information security subsidiary long to get into the swing of the teamwork that has come to rule the public key infrastructure market.

Equifax Secure Inc., which officially introduced its digital certificate service Jan. 5, was back about a month later to announce the formation of the Equifax Secure E-Commerce Partners Program.

In the group at the outset were nine companies active in various aspects of on-line commerce and network security. Along with Equifax's previously announced alliance with International Business Machines Corp.-which is providing the VaultRegistry certificate issuance and management system and including Equifax in its own formidable lineup of "Integrated Security Solutions" allies-Equifax Secure is signaling its intent to be a major mover in this emerging business.

The Atlanta-based credit information company's new business unit is also asserting support for the seemingly universal principle that when it comes to securing the wide-open digital spaces of the Internet, no one company can do everything.

Equifax, IBM, and digital certificate specialists like Entrust Technologies Inc. and Verisign Inc. are increasingly trying to communicate that they can put all the security pieces together. But they do so, in most cases, by assembling components they don't themselves possess, from public key encryption infrastructures, or PKIs, and network firewalls to smart- card authentication devices and consulting assistance.

The aspiring integrators of data encryption and certification infrastructures have healthy philosophical disagreements but are unanimous in their allegiance to the need for issuing and verifying individual and business credentials on the Internet. All view certification as a key to on-line commerce growth and "enterprise security," controlling proper systems access by employees and customers.

The vendors frequently strike relationships with consulting firms and system integrators such as Andersen Consulting or the major accounting firms. Several of those on Equifax's list are active in virtual private network technology. Verisign boasts relationships with more than 400 Internet service providers and 150 independent software vendors for its global "Affiliate Services" program and "PKI backbone."

GTE Cybertrust, stressing speed of deployment of desktop security in its "Accelerator Program," lists Microsoft Corp. and Netscape Communications Corp. as allies, plus smart card and security hardware vendors Gemplus and Datakey, and Entegrity Solutions Corp., a San Jose, Calif., company that itself specializes in what it calls "rapid deployment of secure applications."

Entegrity is a member of a large class of alliance joiners. At the recent RSA Data Security Conference in San Jose, an event sponsored by the data encryption technology leader RSA Data Security Inc., Entegrity also declared itself a member of the "IBM VaultRegistry Family" and announced cooperation agreements with Verisign, Valicert Inc., and others.

Valicert, another Silicon Valley company, offers certificate validation technology that, by definition, must operate with any and all digital certificate authorities, or CAs, to verify that credentials have not expired or been revoked. Valicert has struck up relationships with most of the majors.

"PKI neutrality" is also espoused by Shym Technology Inc. of Needham, Mass., with its PKEnable program. Sales vice president Bill O'Brien described it as "the first company to focus exclusively on allowing enterprise applications to 'snap in' PKI-based security services."

The praises of alliances are widely sung.

"Enterprise security is an expensive and complex problem (that) will only get more complex as customers roll out e-commerce applications," Jamie Lewis, president of the consulting firm Burton Group, said when IBM unveiled its strategy at the RSA conference.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Electronic Commerce: Data Security Vendors Banking on Alliances


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?