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Singapore Center & HP Labs Join In E-C Security Research

Kent Ridge Digital Labs (KRDL) in Singapore and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Laboratories in Bristol, UK, have inked an agreement to collaborate on an e-commerce security technologies research project.

Code-named SENTO (Secure ExtraNet using Trusted Operating Systems), the joint research program involves integrating HP's Virtual Vault operating system with KRDL's NetProtect virtual private network (VPN) to create prototypes of high-security ExtraNet business applications.

"This is the first time HP Laboratories has entered into a research partnership with a Singapore research institute. The National Science and Technology Board (NSTB) and HP Singapore were instrumental in facilitating this collaboration," said Lee Ting, vice president and managing director of HP's geographic operations. "This project will enable the further development of e-commerce security for business-to-business transactions."

"The SENTO research concentrates on improving authentication and security, and integrating the background technologies of both parties," said Dr. Juzar Motiwalla, CEO of KRDL.

"NetProtect was developed in response to a request from MHA [the Ministry of Home Affairs] and TAS [the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore] for a high speed network security product that could be used over Singapore-ONE."

NetProtect has already been licensed to Internet Appliance Inc, and CET Technologies Pte Ltd., a fully owned subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Electronics Ltd., which is in turn a part of the Singapore Technologies Engineering Group.

Both HP Labs and KRDL will invest S$1 million in this one-year joint research project.

"Intellectual property is shared between KRDL and HP," said Cheah Kean Huat, managing director of HP Singapore and SEA region. He also said the project will be housed and managed at KRDL by 15 researchers from both KRDL and HP.

The Singapore team will be working closely with approximately 50 security experts in Bristol, said Catherine Lowney, business development manager of HP Laboratories.

"The SENTO research program cannot be more timely as businesses increasingly explore the use of the Internet as an alternative market space. According to Forrester Research last year, e-commerce will reach about US$350 billion by 2002," said Lee.