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Vendors Release Web Security Products

New products to secure electronic-commerce and Web applications will debut next week, including directory services for storing user authorization information and a system that limits access to Web content.

Netscape is launching a version of its Directory Server with enhanced scalability and performance. The ability to store information on tens of millions of users is essential to security now that huge numbers of users want access to Web content, says David Weiden, VP of directory and security for Netscape. Directory Server 4.0 holds more than 50 million user entries, up from 10 million in version 3.0, and can handle 5,000 queries per second, up from 1,000, Weiden says. The server will be available immediately at $2.50 a user.

For New York insurer American International Group Inc., version 4.0 will improve communication. "The performance improvement will allow us to communicate electronically much more," says Robert Guido, a VP at AIG. AIG uses the 3.0 edition as a central data repository for an extranet used by its brokers and agents. Agents download forms but must return them by fax or mail. With 4.0, the extranet will become two-way, Guido says.

Netscape also has a new version of its system to manage digital certificates, used to encrypt and decrypt messages sent over the Internet. The Netscape Certificate Management System 4.0, available next quarter for $10 a user, will support millions of geographically dispersed users.

Netscape's products are part of the booming public key infrastructure market. Revenue from PKI apps is expected to top $1 billion by 2003, according to UBS Securities Inc.

In other rollouts, VeriSign Inc. will ship the second generation of its PKI platform and will add partners to its network of digital-certificate service providers. GTE CyberTrust will introduce a PKI accelerator program that combines technology and services to let companies quickly deploy digital certificates for desktop applications such as secure Web access and file encryption.

Xcert International Inc. will roll out a PKI suite that will scale to hundreds of thousands of users and support cryptography for handheld applications. Hewlett-Packard will introduce a Web authorization system for screening access to Web site content. HP's Praesidium DomainGuard and DomainGuard Rules fit into Netscape Web servers and link to an LDAP directory. DomainGuard, which provides Web object security, will ship in February starting at $2,450 for a 100-user license. DomainGuard Rules supplies transaction-level security and will ship in the spring at $3,950 for 100 users.

Last week, Shym Technology Inc. unveiled PKEnable, an application that lets SAP, PeopleSoft, Lotus, and other apps snap into PKI systems. A beta supporting 100 users is available for $10,000.

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