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Call for law to protect users against security cowboys

Simon Quicke
By Simon Quicke Fears over mis-selling of network security products has led to calls for the introduction of strict consumer protection standards.

Calls for a Kite Mark-type initiative follow the expansion of the Checkmark standard, which started in the anti-virus market but is increasingly moving into network security. Bernie Dodwell, marketing and business development manager at Allasso, claimed there needed to be an agreed industry standard to protect users against purchasing security products which would not safeguard their data. “A lot of people are coming into the security market who don’t understand the issues and are implementing inappropriate products,” he warned. Dodwell added that to avoid conflict between products and confusion over how much security was being offered, vendors and major channel players should devise some form of consumer protection. “Pressure will come from users and maybe there needs to be some form of Kite Mark or code of practice. But who defines it is down to the industry,” he added. Malcolm Skinner, product marketing manager at Axent, added it had managed to get Checkmark backing for its firewall. He claimed the opportunity the market presented was attracting cowboys selling inappropriate products. “If people sell products which don’t protect network data, the industry will be tarnished with a bad reputation. “There is a great opportunity for resellers to sell services around products and there is no need to do anything underhand,” he added.

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