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RealTime IT News

VeriSign to E-Commerce: Listen Up!

With the culmination of the holiday season a mere 156 days away, experts remain concerned about the problem of online trust that still plagues the ecommerce arena.

Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign wants to bring its business to the forefront of the issue, Tuesday unveiling its "Trusted Commerce" initiative to raise awareness around the need for both encryption and authentication in online transactions.

The initiative aims to increase merchant, consumer, and industry awareness of the importance of authentication as the underpinning for secure transactions. In addition, Verisign hopes to drive the development of authentication standards by key industry participants and notify consumers and online merchants about risky practices of "quick" or reduced authentication that doesn't adequately identify online businesses.

"Due to the fact that in most cases individuals on the Web are not authenticated, it is relatively easy to impersonate somebody online," said Charles Kolodgy, research manager for IDC. "Unfortunately, while the number of Internet transactions is expanding rapidly, the procedures for verifying online identity are not always being applied in a uniform, trusted fashion across the Internet."

In kicking off its Trusted Commerce initiative, VeriSign will hold a three-part series entitled, "Establishing Web Trust," that covers authentication, payments and shared hosting. The online series is open to everyone, and invitations have been mailed to more than 135,000 industry professionals, including all major ISPs and shared hosting companies. Participants may attend any of the events, which start today, by signing up here.

VeriSign's Trusted Commerce initiative comes at a time when industry analysts are warning about a lack of adequate security procedures in transacting business over the Internet.

The necessity for providing authentication in the shared SSL environment was highlighted in a recent Gartner Report which estimates that as many as 15 percent of digital certificates are not fully trustworthy.

VeriSign is hoping to drum up renewed interest in e-commerce security following another hard year for online merchants. The company has fallen hard over recent months, holding at around $6 today in early-morning trading, off a high of nearly $40 earlier this year.