Vendors scramble for the message

Vendors scramble for the message

Like death and taxes, security is a perennial which everyone has to deal with sooner or later, especially in the anarchical Internet. A handful of vendors are competing for the e-commerce protection business in Australia, and the first few battles have been won.

Baltimore and Secure Network Solutions (SNS) have been the early front runners. Baltimore won the tender for the lucrative APCA banking industry project, and is now Gatekeeper-accredited with several Federal Government contracts looking certain. SNS already has the ASIC project under its belt, and is operating the certificate authority which was abandoned by Australia Post.

Network Associates and Spyrus have not been as active, but Gordon Smith, general manager of Australian smart card vendor Authentic8, said the disparity was not clear.

"It always helps to have a lighthouse account," he said. "It's not necessarily that or nothing. The cream will rise to surface." Authentic8 has signed a Federal Government department for its authentication products, although Mr Smith would not nominate which one.

He said that many projects would involve multiple vendors with complementary technologies, which would be made possible by adherence to industry-wide standards for digital signatures and smart cards. "Once you conform to the standards, in theory, it should be horses for courses," he said.

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