A milestone in the development of tScheme as the e-business security industry's self-regulation body is passed today with the formal registration of its first applicant for service assessment and approval.
Royal Mail ViaCode, provider of fully managed digital certificates to a wide range of commercial and public sector organisations as well as the Government Gateway, has submitted itself for assessment and, as a condition of the grant of tScheme Registered Applicant status, has formally agreed to commit to a timetable leading to the achievement of full tScheme approval by December.
The IT security industry's response to a self-regulation challenge set by the government within its Electronic Communications Bill of 2001, tScheme is an independent limited company with members including trust services providers, computer vendors and user organisations.
tScheme chief executive Stephen Upton says it is up to the industry - which lobbied hard for self-regulation with the contention that direct government legislation would not stimulate e-business growth - to prove that it is up to the self-regulatory task.
"That's why today's news is so significant. ViaCode, the trust services provider business of one of our founding members, has made an open and public commitment to undergo a rigorous assessment of its trust service policies and management procedures. It's up to tScheme to demonstrate that self-regulation works for this emerging industry, and that both end-users and the government can have confidence in the integrity and the robustness of our approval process."
Announcements about a new group of Registered Applicants will be made at the forthcoming ISSE event on 26-28 September, where tScheme has an exhibition stand and is presenting a conference paper.
Membership of tScheme is open to all sectors of industry and to users or prospective users of trust services.
Details of how to join, contribute to or register for tScheme assessment leading to subsequent approval can be found at http://www.tscheme.org
ViaCode (www.viacode.com) is one of Europe's largest providers of managed certificate services with a fast-growing customer base in industry, commerce and the public sector. It provides fully managed personal, corporate, Government Gateway and Web server digital certificates to standards that have set an international benchmark for thoroughness and integrity.
ViaCode users range from legal firms and other small and medium sized businesses through to major manufacturers and government departments. The company is also providing certificates for three key National Health Service schemes, one of which - the secure electronic delivery of pathology results to GPs - is thought at over 9,000 users to be the largest deployment of certificate technology within the UK public sector.
ViaCode digital certificates are issued only after rigorous proof of identity and are instantly revocable with immediate system-wide effect. They use full-strength 128-bit cryptography for top security while separate key pairs for encryption and signing mean the digital signatures they generate are non-deniable.
Further editorial information:
tScheme: Stephen Upton - 020 7331 2021
ViaCode: Alison Ingleby - 020 7847 3391
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