Three major web-related companies yesterday made public a joint venture to facilitate usage of internet security software such as digital signatures in e-commerce applications.

Microsoft, security software company Verisign and internet marketplace specialist WebMethods have developed extensible markup language (XML) technology branded Key Management Specification but abbreviated to XKMS. This provides a framework for handling complex security programs sited in a server and usable across multiple applications, instead of the current system where security features are individually constructed within applications.

Commented Anil Pereira, senior vice president and group general manager of Verisign’s enterprise division: “As the use of XML continues to gain momentum, the need for open and interoperable XML-based security and trust services becomes paramount”.

The implications of improved online security for web shopping were emphasised by Jeremy Epstein, principal security architect at WebMethods: “A new standard for the XML-based trust services will enable trust through stronger authentication and will ultimately help deliver XML's promise of expanded e-commerce across the board.”

News source: Financial Times