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VPN firms win OK for auto project

Six VPN vendors' products are certified by the ICSA, making the goods eligible to be used in a huge auto industry e-commerce project.

Six virtual private network vendors have had their products certified by the International Computer Security Association, making the goods eligible to be used in a huge automotive industry project for e-commerce over the Internet.

ICSA certified eight VPN products as complying with the Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) protocol and as interoperating. In January, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) named ICSA to certify VPN products for its Automotive Network eXchange (ANX) service.

ANX is a supply-chain initiative aimed at using the Internet, rather than a multiplicity of secure private networks, for automakers to communicate with suppliers. Due to launch this summer, ANX conducted a pilot that drew the big three manufacturers--General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler--and major suppliers including Goodyear Tire, Dana, and IBM.

"With security being a critical component of AIAG's ANX network, the certification of this first group of security products by the third party ICSA marks a major milestone in the program," Karl Schohl, ANX business manager, said in a statement.

VPN vendors whose products won ANX certification include Network Associates for software acquired with Trusted Information Systems, VPNet, Check Point, Radguard, Axent for technology acquired with Raptor Systems, and TimeStep.

ICSA said additional VPN products are currently being tested and will be announced as they are certified for interoperability.

Starting today, ISPs can apply for certification of their networks to participate in ANX. Bellcore will handle certification based on finalized specifications also released today.

Among the ISPs participating in the ANX trial were Ameritech, Bell Canada, EDS, and MCI.