Cisco, Lucent, Network Associates and Sun have formed the Security Research Alliance (SRA) to promote research into network security.
Alliance members will meet on a regular basis to establish how they can collaborate together and to present their security research projects.
The partners hope this will increase the odds of such projects resulting in marketable products, and also intend to make joint bids for new research contracts from the US government and other funding sources.
The SRA hopes to attract extra members, and also intends to communicate information about advanced security research projects to a broader audience.
The SRA believes that vendors tend to be reactive rather than proactive when dealing with security issues; for example, they tend to wait for the press to draw attention to a security leak before posting a patch for it.
As a result, the body plans to organise an annual Security Research Crystal Ball Symposium, with the first scheduled for 13 April 1999 in Los Angeles, on the eve of the US' Spring Internet World show.
Kevin Ziese, Cisco's manager of network security research, said: "We think it is very important to look far out in the future in network security." He cited intrusion detection as one key area of work.
Terry Benzel, vice president of Network Associates' NAI Labs Advanced Security Research division, is acting chairman of SRA.
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