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

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.

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