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Netscape adds security module

Boosting its visibility in the security market, the firm will announce other vendors' use of its directory and certificate servers.

Seeking to boost the visibility of its security offerings, Netscape Communications next week will announce that other software vendors are embedding its directory and certificate servers in their offerings.

Netscape also will unveil a new security module for software developers and systems integrators to add Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security to their e-commerce applications.

"The biggest deal is the directory integration," said Marlo Kosanovich, a security analyst at Meta Group. "Users have been tired of managing multiple directories, one in each application or network resource."

By using Netscape Directory Server, different applications or devices can be managed from a single directory. Check Point firewalls and Bay Networks switches will use the Netscape directory, basically swapping out their internal directories to manage security and use Netscape's instead.

It also named 20 vendors that are embedding Netscape's directory and certificate servers into their offerings.

The new SSL security module, called Netscape Security Services (NSS), does not compete with SSL toolkits from RSA Data Security and other cryptography vendors, said Karen Horwitz, Netscape senior product marketing manager.

"We have been packaged modules we use to incorporate SSL into our own applications, and now we have packaged them so third-party vendors can use the same modules," Horwitz said. StampMaster, which offers postage stamps over the Internet, is using NSS.

The standard version of NNS is now available for $70,000 per application with no royalties. A version that has been certified for the federal government's FIPS 140-I costs $150,000.