ISS has ANSA to network security

Security standards body front for technology licensing scheme

Want to give your product a head start over rival offerings? Then set up an industry standards body around it. That's what network security system vendor Internet Security Systems appears to have done. It launched the Adaptive Network Security Alliance (ANSA) yesterday, roping in some 40-odd networking vendors, including 3Com, Lucent, Nortel, Nokia, IBM, HP and Compaq, to support its goal of devising a unified scheme for managing security tools such as firewalls and anti-virus software. ISS president and CEO Tom Noonan said ANSA will "provide an enterprise-wide security framework that automatically adapts to changing security conditions" by embedding "adaptive network security functionality such as enterprise security active response, lock down and decision support capabilities into traditional security technologies, as well as network and systems management products". It all sounds very laudable, until you see that the basis for all that ISS has in mind is its own SAFEsuite Decisions software. Membership of ANSA essentially allows you to integrate ISS technology, in the form of "Adaptive Network Security Modules" into your own products. This probably accounts for the fact that Network Associates and Axent, both of whom develop products that compete with SAFEsuit, are missing from the ANSA roster of members. ANSA also connects members to ISS' marketing and sales teams (direct and channel), and brings "increased credibility and visibility in the security market provided by the ISS name". In short, what we're talking here is more licensing programme than "open industry-wide initiative", as ISS would have it. ® Click for more stories

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