The WS-Security specification, seen by many as one of the key Web services standards, is the first such standard to support, integrate, and unify multiple security models, mechanisms and technologies.
It is intended to allow a range of different systems to interoperate in a platform and language-neutral manner, according to officials at the three companies.
Officials said they will continue to work together to move forward standards-based specifications that better enable Web services security technologies, as was stated in their "Security in a Web Services World" road map released in April.
The WS-Security specification fundamentally provides the foundation for that road map, defining a standard set of Simple Object Access Protocol (Soap) extensions that can then be used to implement both integrity and confidentiality in Web services applications.
Besides IBM, Microsoft and VeriSign, other companies throwing their support behind the proposed standard and development effort include Baltimore Technologies, BEA Systems, Cisco Systems, Documentum, Entrust, Intel, Iona, Netegrity, Novell, Oblix, OpenNetwork, RSA Security, SAP, Sun Microsystems and Systinet.