Two competing standards initiatives have emerged which aim to make ecommerce transactions more secure.
Netegrity, which is working with vendors including Sun Microsystems, Commerce One and Versign, is developing what it calls the security services markup language (S2ML). The aim is to create a single standard for securing data and covering customer authentication, authorisation and entitlement through XML documents.
Securant Technologies, alongside Check Point Software Technologies, Access360 and SilverStream, is developing its AuthXML standard which also aims to identify and authenticate customers as they move across trading partner websites and online exchanges.
S2ML is being reviewed by Oracle, PricewaterhouseCoopers and real-time software supplier Tibco, while AuthXML supporters include two S2ML backers, VeriSign and WebMethods.
Christian Byrnes, an analyst at researcher the Meta Group, said that almost all ecommerce transactions involve multiple business partners and that security is therefore vital.
"The lack of security standards has resulted in difficult, complex and insecure implementations," he said. "A successful standard for integrating security across business partners will make ecommerce faster and less expensive to deploy, and more secure at the same time."
The working groups for each initiative expect to submit proposed XML plans to standards bodies, including the World Wide Web Consortium and the Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, by the end of the year.
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