Coviello: Embrace authentication

SAN FRANCISCO -- Software industry officials have blamed the slow expansion of e-government and e-commerce on a lack of trust in the Internet, but the problem can be overcome by treating electronic identities as digital assets, the head of RSA Security said this week.

Electronic authentication must become commonplace across the Internet before public agencies and companies will be willing to open up their networks for business transactions, said Art Coviello, president and chief executive officer of RSA Security. How those agencies and corporations provide e-authentication is not as important as just doing it, Coviello said Feb. 15 at the RSA Conference here.

"There is no single answer," he said, adding that "organizations will need to check devices for accurate configurations and patches" before they allow them to connect to the network.

At the start of the weeklong conference sponsored by RSA Security, RSA officials named Orson Swindle, commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, as the recipient of the company's 2005 public policy award for advancing cybersecurity and privacy policies and practices in 2004.

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