The UK's first professional body for IT security staff, the Institute for Information Security Professionals, is gearing up for a formal launch at the end of February.
The institute aims to establish itself as a "gold standard" for information security.
"There has been a huge response from individuals and companies," said Nick Coleman, interim chief executive of the institute. "Lots of people from different areas of business are joining, not just traditional IT people."
Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered, the Royal Bank of Scotland, BP, BT, HBOS, Messagelabs, Hewlett-Packard, the Cabinet Office and government IT security organisation the CESG are among those who have signed up to the new body.
The institute aims to raise levels of professionalism in IT security by establishing minimum benchmarks for the skills, training and experience of IT security professionals.
It will provide businesses with confidence that their IT systems are being secured by well trained people who follow best practice, said Alan Stanley, founder member of the institute and former chair of the Information Security Foundation.