Top users' security manifesto aims to close gaps in supplier offerings

User group the Jericho Forum, whose members include more than 50 global companies, is set to publish criteria on information...

User group the Jericho Forum, whose members include more than 50 global companies, is set to publish criteria on information security for suppliers to follow when developing products.

The guidelines will set out which security technologies users find easiest to work with, the most effective methods for secure electronic transactions between organisations, and how to improve technology used to monitor networks for security breaches.

Within six months the group expects to have a firm commitment from suppliers to support Jericho security initiatives.

The guidelines are the most co-ordinated effort yet by user companies to influence the development of security products and services. It comes amid growing concern among user organisations in both the public and private sectors that IT security threats are becoming harder and more expensive to combat.

This is due in part to more sophisticated viruses and IT departments having limited resources. However, Jericho believes rival security standards from suppliers are leaving users vulnerable to security threats.

As it celebrates its first anniversary, the group is putting the final touches to a strategy paper. To support its strategy, the Jericho Forum is establishing working groups to push forward stand- ards and best practices for implementing enterprise security.

Nick Bleech, head of security management in the technology advisory practice at professional services firm KPMG and lead author of the strategy document, said, "It is already clear that the business issues around trust models and identity management are both a high priority to our members and the subject of the greatest supplier interest."

The Jericho Forum, which began as an informal gathering of FTSE 100 heads of security, now includes global companies such as Procter & Gamble, Qantas and Boeing among its members.

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