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eSign Australia Opens for Security Training

Internet security services provider eSign Australia has opened its first authorized training centre in e-commerce security outside the US, with the centre opened in Melbourne in a move to respond to Australias IT skills shortage.

The centre, which was opened by parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Sentor Ian Campbell, has been developed to build job skills with Internet security technologies such as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificates.

The four courses offered through the centre focus on e-commerce concepts as well as the implementation of security technologies, and are certified by eSign's US parent company VeriSign. They will cover using PKI and digital certificates, certified administrator and engineer skills and strategic e-commerce architecture and security. The training will be based in eSign's high security data centre and regional operations centre.

"We are experiencing a huge demand for training on Internet security in Australia, in particular PKI and digital certificates. Security is one of the major reasons why corporates are slow at adopting e-commerce," said eSign managing director Gregg Rowley.

Recognising the skills shortage over which the local IT industry is lamenting, the Federal Government has jumped behind eSigns training centre as a move towards addressing this issue, with Senator Campbell saying the project "will help ensure Australians have the skills to meet the growing demand for PKI expertise, and the local expertise to remain at the forefront of e-security developments."

The support eSign has gained from the Federal Government is a product of its accreditation last March as a certification authority under the Commonwealth Gatekeeper Strategy, that provides a framework for federal and state government-to-business e-commerce using PKI. Such a strategy has made PKI skills in the IT industry foremost in the Federal Government's mind, as without these skills the Gatekeeper strategy will either have limited success or will require businesses to seek skilled developers overseas.

Senator Campbell also maintained the centres potential to develop security skills should flow on to build faith in e-commerce. "Security is one of the key drivers in e-commerce take-up. PKI has the ability to provide online transactions with the same level of security that exists in off-line 'bricks-and-mortar' transactions," he said.

Mr Rowley said eSign hopes to extend its training beyond Australia to cater for more of the Asia Pacific region.

eSigns training centre is not the first vendor move to develop IT skills in Australias workforce. Last July, IBM announced it would develop an e-business innovation centre, to focus on developing workers' e-business skills (see story).

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