Nokia Assembles Wireless Security Posse

Finnish telco giant Nokia Thursday announced its new Security Developers Alliance program with the expressed purpose of improving the wireless Internet.

The Alliance will be comprised of a select group of third party software companies who have met Nokia’s certification standards in order to receive its “Nokia OK.” The validation gives the companies the right to interoperate with Nokia’s line of IP security appliances.

The company maintains a strong presence as a premier vendor in the security appliance market.

According to a recent IDC report, Nokia led the parade with more than 430 percent growth in the firewall/VPN security appliance market, capturing more than 22 percent of the total worldwide firewall/VPN appliance marketshare.

Beyond Nokia’s primary strategic partners Check Point Software , F5 Networks, Inc. and Internet Security Systems (ISS) , initial Alliance developers will offer a host of security solutions, including content filtering, data integrity assurance, network monitoring and management.

Currently, BMC Software , Concord Communications, FishNet, HP OpenView , Open (OpenService, Inc.), Permeo, SurfControl, and Tripwire are in the final stages of Nokia OK validation.

Nokia said prospective developers need to be invited by the company and must submit their products to Nokia labs for interoperability testing and evaluation prior to receiving approval.

“The Internet and e-mail are the most important communication tools used to conduct business today, making network security and inappropriate usage of the Internet bigger concerns than ever before,” said SurfControl U.S. president Kevin Blakeman. “Our customers and prospects will be excited to learn that SurfControl Web Filter is now compatible with Nokia’s market leading security appliance platform.”

As part of the Alliance, members will have access to Nokia’s Software Development Kit (SDK) for Nokia’s secure Operating System (IPSO) as a way of porting their products to Nokia’s security appliances.

“This program has been an important element in the development of HP OpenView Smart Plug-ins for managing Nokia Firewall and VPN security appliances,” said HP OpenView Business Unit VP and general manager Patty Azzarello. “By contributing to the Nokia Security Developers Alliance, we will provide our customers with the latest security solutions as part of our service-driven management software and solutions.”

It’s no secret that improvements in wireless security have helped the industry leapfrog year over year, but critics are still cautious.

When Transcrypt International senior vice president Dennis Blaine was interviewed by INT Media Group’s M-Commerce Times, he expressed concerns about security for companies doing mobile business.

“It is going to grow, but one day we are going to have an episode where somebody loses a transaction of big value in mobile commerce, and then people are going to be upset because they will have thought that there was security inherent in that system,” said Blaine. “This means people looking to get into m-commerce need to be aware of the potential risk and they need to keep abreast of the movement in the security technology. There is no solution that can be dropped in to fit everybody’s need today, but they want to follow those developments closely so that they can be ready when that solution does come along.”

Blain suggests we are probably three years off before we find a seamless solution. Nokia and its alliance partners are hoping to push that timetable by at least a year.

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