Alliance agrees security moves

The global IT industry claims the release of new security specifications marks an important step towards less vulnerable computing.

The global IT industry claims the release of new security specifications marks an important step towards less vulnerable computing.

The Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA, anindustry consortium of 145 member companies, has agreed a benchmark that will underpin efforts to protect personal and corporate data from hackers and other threats.

The TCPA’s release of Version 1.0 of its Trusted Computing Platform Specifications aims to provide developers and manufacturers with a standard, low-cost means of embedding security in a range of computing environments.

At the core of the new specification is an isolated computing engine that, it is claimed, cannot be altered, and can always be trusted to behave as expected.

IT platforms, which include the specified technology, will carry out ‘integrity checks’, measuring and reporting on what is going on around them.

TCPA members — including IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq — will now attempt to get worldwide acceptance for the specifications.

The release of the new standards comes against a background of continuing concern over the integrity of data, particularly among companies moving to internet-based e-business systems.

Roger Kay, a research manager for technology analyst IDC, said the standards form one of the most serious attempts yet by the industry to tackle security concerns on a broad front. ‘It is only within a secure, trusted environment that e-business can really flourish, and security is only as strong as its weakest link,’ said Kay.