Users and suppliers welcome FTSE firms' security initiative

User groups and industry bodies have welcomed the push by 10 FTSE 100 companies, including ICI, BP and some of the UK's biggest...

User groups and industry bodies have welcomed the push by 10 FTSE 100 companies, including ICI, BP and some of the UK's biggest banks, to get suppliers to sort out security standards.

The group of 10, whose initiative was reported in Computer Weekly last week, presented an architecture known as boundaryless networking or "deperimeterisation", where the corporate network is opened up to support business partners and customers, at the RSA Europe security conference in Amsterdam last week.

Ronan Miles, chairman of the Oracle User Group, said the emergence of powerful users pushing for a unified approach to security was an important step forward.

He said, in the past, users had not made security the number one feature when they purchased IT. As a result, "suppliers do not really make a big play on security. It is not seen as a significant differentiator," he said.

The informal club of FTSE 100 chief security officers was a step in the right direction, he added.

Alan Brown, chairman of the Open Group, whose members include the NHS Information Authority, was encouraged by the FTSE users' collaboration. "Users should be more proactive. They need to present their requirements in a standard way," he said. Brown plans to invite the group to present its approach at Open Group conferences.

John Higgins, director general ofUK suppliers' organisation Intellect, said, "The IT industry recognises that information security issues are of concern to all, and welcomes work to raise the bar."

Higgins said the IT industry was keen to continue open dialogue with user bodies, and to deliver products that support users' future business strategies.

"Although information security does not have a quick-fix, it does have solutions. We are committed to finding them, and will continue to do this through ongoing collaboration, co-operation and discussion with all parties involved," he said.

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